Temple University Student Study: Norristown Needs A Food Policy Council, Community Gardens

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NORRISTOWN — An urban planning class presented the results of a study of food availability in Norristown to council Tuesday that included targeted recommendations.

Jennifer Krouchick, a Temple University student in the urban planning studio class taught by Professor Deborah Howe, said that Norristown is a car-dependent municipality for large food shopping but had also notched a 74 percent score in “walkability.”

Of Norristown’s 34,324 residents, 19.3 live below the poverty line, according to recent demographics. In addition, 2,484 of Norristown’s 13,058 households receive federal food assistance through SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).

A resident group helped the students shape the food study during a task force meeting in January, Krouchick said. A community workshop was held in April allowing residents to explain what food issues were important to them.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140701/temple-university-student-study-norristown-needs-a-food-policy-council-community-gardens

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Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Metro Area Food Stamp Use Up 75 Percent In 5 Years

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Food stamp distribution in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metro area exploded by 75 percent between 2007 and 2012.

The number of households receiving federal assistance under the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program ballooned to 35,256 in 2012 from 20,195 in 2007, Census Bureau data reveal.

SNAP stamp benefits in 2012 went to 14 percent of the residences in Lackawanna County, 17 percent in Luzerne County and 20 percent in Wyoming County. More than 90,300 people in the metro area participate in the food-stamp program, according to federal data cited by U.S. Sen. Bob Casey’s office.

“Those numbers are staggering,” said Teri Ooms, director of the Institute for Public Policy and Economic Development, a regional research and analysis organization. “This is the eroding of the middle class.”

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/food-stamp-use-up-75-percent-in-5-years-1.1583475

Americans On Food Stamps

English: Logo of the .

English: Logo of the . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The number of people using food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) increased by an average of 13 percent a year from 2008 to 2012.  House Republicans dropped funding for food stamps from a new version of the farm bill.  Voting takes place Thursday.  Read related article.

Click here to see map of US with 2012 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participation levels by state: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/food-stamps/

Owners Of Small South Hills Grocers Accused Of Food-Stamp Fraud

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  This same thing just happened in Pottstown.  Wondering if this is a more than a coincidence.  Looks like this could be a big problem.

Two Brentwood men who ran separate small grocery stores in the South Hills were indicted Wednesday for wire fraud and food stamp fraud, documents filed today in U.S. District Court show.

Samson Dweh, 30, ran Mariama African Store in Carrick, according to the indictment naming him.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture authorized him to begin accepting food stamps in February 2009.

Starting in August 2010, according to the indictment, Mr. Dweh started paying cash for food stamp benefits, paying around 50 cents on each dollar of benefit the customer sought to cash in.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-south/owners-of-small-south-hills-grocers-accused-of-food-stamp-fraud-681230/#ixzz2OqWtDubA

Stores Raided In Pottstown Food Stamp Fraud Investigation

POTTSTOWN — Two people were arrested after police served search warrants at three borough stores in connection with a fraud investigation involving food stamp access cards.

Adbu Aljash, 38, of Pottstown, and Kuldip Kaur, 40, of King of Prussia, were both charged with felony corrupt organization and other related charges, according to court documents.

Kaur worked at the Quick Mart Grocery Store on 55 E. High Street. Customers were able to buy cigarettes, non-food items and could receive cash back on their government-issued ACCESS cards, according to court records.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General had been monitoring Kaur and the store since last August 2012, according to the police report.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130316/NEWS01/130319489/video-stores-raided-in-pottstown-food-stamp-fraud-investigation#full_story