poverty, Social Problems, Social Safety Net

‘Never Seen Anything Like It’: Cars Line Up for Miles at Food Banks Millions are flooding a charitable system that was never intended to handle a nationwide crisis. Army and Air Force National Guard soldiers packed food boxes at the Nourish Pierce County food bank in Tacoma, Wash., last week. Army and Air Force National Guard soldiers packed food boxes at the Nourish Pierce County food bank in Tacoma, Wash., last week.

By Nicholas Kulish April 8, 2020

In Omaha, a food pantry that typically serves as few as 100 people saw 900 show up on a single day. In Jonesboro, Ark., after a powerful tornado struck, a food bank received less than half the donations it expected because nervous families held on to what they had. And in Washington State and Louisiana, the National Guard has been called in to help pack food boxes and ensure that the distributions run smoothly. Demand for food assistance is rising at an extraordinary rate, just as the nation’s food banks are being struck by shortages of both donated food and volunteer workers.

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Healthcare, Social Problems, Social Safety Net

Medicaid Covers a Million Fewer Children. Baby Elijah Was One of Them. Officials point to rising employment, but the uninsured rate is climbing as families run afoul of new paperwork and as fear rises among immigrants. By Abby Goodnough and Margot Sanger-Katz . Oct. 22, 2019

HOUSTON — The baby’s lips were turning blue from lack of oxygen in the blood when his mother, Kristin Johnson, rushed him to an emergency room here last month. Only after he was admitted to intensive care with a respiratory virus did Ms. Johnson learn that he had been dropped from Medicaid coverage.

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class, Family, Social Problems, Social Safety Net

What Happened When a State Made Food Stamps Harder to Get. In West Virginia, tougher work requirements for receiving food stamps complicated life for poor people, but did not result in increased employment. The most visible impact in the changes in work requirements for the food stamp program in nine West Virginia counties was at homeless missions and food pantries, which saw a substantial spike in demand that has never receded. By Campbell Robertson Jan. 13, 2020 MILTON, W.Va.

— In the early mornings, Chastity and Paul Peyton walk from their small and barely heated apartment to Taco Bell to clean fryers and take orders for as many work hours as they can get. It rarely adds up to a full-time week’s worth, often not even close. With this income and whatever cash Mr. Peyton can scrape up doing odd jobs — which are hard to come by in a small town in winter, for someone without a car — the couple pays rent, utilities and his child support payments. Then there is the matter of food. “We can barely eat,” Ms. Peyton said. She was told she would be getting food stamps again soon — a little over two dollars’ worth a day — but the couple was without them for months. Sometimes they made too much money to qualify; sometimes it was a matter of working too little. There is nothing reliable but the local food pantry.

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Affordable Care Act, Healthcare, Social Problems, Social Safety Net

Trump Administration Unveils a Major Shift in Medicaid. States will be able to cap a portion of spending for the safety-net program, a change likely to diminish the number of people receiving health benefits through it. Seema Verma, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator, center, and administration officials had been seeking to limit the open-ended federal funding that the Medicaid statute requires for months. Seema Verma, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator, center, and administration officials had been seeking to limit the open-ended federal funding that the Medicaid statute requires for months.By Abby Goodnough. Jan. 30, 2020 WASHINGTON — The Trump administration said on Thursday that it would allow states to cap Medicaid spending for many poor adults, a major shift long sought by conservatives that gives states the option of reducing health benefits for millions who gained coverage through the program under the Affordable Care Act. Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said states that sought the arrangement — an approach often referred to as block grants — would have broad flexibility to design coverage for the affected group under Medicaid, the state-federal health insurance program for the poor that was created more than 50 years ago as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society.

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Healthcare, Social Problems, Social Safety Net

Opinion: The Big, Feminist Policy Idea America’s Families Have Been Waiting For

How Universal Family Care could help people throughout their lives.

By Ai-jen Poo and Benjamin W. Veghte

Ms. Poo and Dr. Veghte are architects of Universal Family Care.

June 23, 2019

A vast majority of Americans cannot afford to take care of their families. But they see it as their responsibility, and too often their failure. To get by, they cobble together solutions, even quitting their jobs to look after a newborn or when a parent becomes ill. Things are getting worse as baby boomers age into their 70s. America’s piecemeal and expensive care infrastructure, created a half century ago, has reached a breaking point.

Our organization will unveil a new social insurance program on Monday called Universal Family Care that could fix this crisis. It would provide affordable early child care, paid leave, assistance for people with disabilities and elder care for people of all incomes. We need an integrated approach because no one experiences needs in isolation: We might need help right after an injury, or over the course of our lives to help a disabled family member thrive.

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