Do Food Stamps Affect Farmers Markets? | KCET
Do Food Stamps Affect Farmers Markets?
And so here we are, a little over a month from when I first asked for your thoughts on the nation's new Farm Bill, and it still hasn't been passed. At the time, I said it was the "beginning of the end" of the long legislative process, but with constant hold-ups and increasingly hostile debates, it seems like it was more of "the end of the beginning." It's actually gotten to the point where folks in Congress are floating around the idea of simply extending the old farm bill for a year, giving everyone a bit of time to collect themselves before trying to pass the heftier five-year version.
And what's keeping the farm bill from being passed? As I mentioned earlier, it's the food stamps. Specifically, the plan to cut a large chunk of the funding of them. The Senate version of the bill cuts $4.5 billion in food stamps over the next five years, while the House version cuts a whopping $16.5 billion.
(To make these numbers a bit easier-to-grasp, Colorlines.com tells us that the Senate version means "500,000 households would lose $90 a month in benefits" while the House version would "result in 3 million people losing all of their benefits, 300,000 children going without school lunch, and 500,000 households losing $90 in monthly grocery money.")
So, as you can see, there's a reason this point is so contentious.
The loss of food stamps affects the farmers as well as consumers: If people don't have them to pay with, will sales decrease at neighborhood farmers' markets? To find out, we asked a handful of farmers' market managers about food stamp usage.
Laura Avery, Santa Monica Farmers Markets:
Nick Spano, L.A. City Farm (Yamashiro/South Bay Pavilion/Autry Farmers Markets):
Jackie Sauceda-Rivera, Hollywood/Watts/Central/Echo Park/Crenshaw/Atwater Farmers Markets:
So, it's kind of what you'd expect. On the whole, not a huge, huge percentage of farmers market sales are derived from food stamps -- and when it does, it mostly takes place in less wealthy areas of town -- but every manager believes it's an important option for consumers to have.
Teachers and parents everywhere are trying to make distance learning work, but early education poses some unique challenges, from short attention spans to concerns about too much screen time. We talked to parents and teachers about how it's going so far.
Los Angeles County coronavirus cases surged past the 4,000 mark today, while health officials reported another 13 deaths and warned residents that wearing a mask -- while beneficial -- doesn't alleviate the need to stay home as much as possible.
Responding to the unprecedented shift to remote learning and other challenges to education caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the University of California is temporarily suspending its core admissions requirements for students seeking to enroll.
As of this week, about one in three American households have completed the census. L.A. County is close behind but when we zoom in, we see a different picture.
- 1 of 257
- next ›