Category – Peace and Justice Issues

What is the Safety Net

What is the safety net for the poor?

  • From USA Today

Federal and state governments provide a number of programs that make up the safety net for the poor. The programs are administered by the federal government, states or a combination of the two. Income requirements vary by program. For those that follow federal poverty guidelines, a family of four earning up to $23,050 a year can apply.

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•Housing vouchers. Rent subsidy of up to 70%. Eligibility based on income as a percentage of area’s median income.

•Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Cash aid for families with children. States set eligibility rules. Federal law requires most recipients to work or go to school. Federal law limits benefits to five years; states can raise or lower that.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps). Financial assistance for a family below federal poverty guidelines to buy food. Income for a family of four must be less than $2,422 a month.
•Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).Food, health care and nutrition education for pregnant women and mothers with children up to age 5. Eligibility for family of four: income up to $3,446 a month.

•Medicaid. Health care for the elderly, people with disabilities and dependent children and their families.

•Medicare Part D. Discounted prescription drugs for low-income seniors and disabled people.

•State Child Health Insurance Program. Medical care for poor children who are not eligible for Medicaid.

•Free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch at school. Eligibility for family of four: income up to $3,446 a month.

•Earned Income Tax Credit. Credit against federal tax for low-income working families. Maximum credit or refund for a household with three or more children: $5,751.

•Child Care and Development Fund. Free or reduced-cost child care.

Supplemental Security Income. Cash aid for poor seniors and people with disablities.

Pell Grants. Cash for college expenses. No low-income requirement, but poorest students receive largest grants.

Head Start. School readiness programs, breakfast, lunch and health screenings for preschoolers.

•Low Income Home Energy Assistance. Cash for heating and cooling expenses.

Weatherization Assistance Program. Energy-efficiency improvements to homes of low-income people.

American Winter March 18


Rep. Walter Jones Jr. Food ScoreCard


Rep. Walter Jones Jr.

District: 3rd District of North Carolina
Party: Republican
State: North Carolina

Votes below are from the 112th Congress. New members in the 113th Congress will not have any votes listed as they were not in the 112th Congress. Former House of Representative Members that have moved to the Senate will have the votes and score from their House term listed.

Bill & Vote Activity

Noem Farm Dust Bill
Sullivan E15 Amendment
Gibbs Pesticide Bill
Broun Food for Peace Amendment
Broun WIC Amendment
DeLauro E. Coli Amendment
Farr Organic Amendment
Foxx WIC Amendment
Broun McGovern-Dole Amendment
Pingree Know Your Farmer Amendment
Foxx Know Your Farmer Amendment
Blumenauer Payment Limit Amendment
Flake Means Testing Amendment
Agricultural Disaster Assistance Act


Hunger in America: Key Findings

  • The 37 million Americans served annually by Feeding America include nearly 14 million children and nearly 3 million seniors.
  • Each week, approximately 5.7 million people receive emergency food assistance from an agency served by a Feeding America member. This is a 27percent increase over numbers reported in Hunger in America 2006, which reported that 4.5 million people were served each week.
  • These numbers are based on surveys conducted at emergency feeding centers, such as soup kitchens and food pantries, but do not factor in many individuals also served at non-emergency locations, such as Kids Cafe programs and senior centers.

Client Households

  • 76 percent (10 million) of client households served are food insecure, meaning they do not always know where they will find their next meal.
  • 36 percent of these client households are experiencing food insecurity with hunger, meaning they are sometimes completely without a source of food.
  • 79 percent (11 million) of households with children served are also food insecure.
  • Of the 37 million people the Feeding America  network serves:
  • 70 percent of households have incomes below the federal poverty line.
  • The average monthly income for client households is $940.
  • 36 percent of households have one or more adults who is working.
  • 10 percent of client households are homeless.

Tough Choices

Many of the client households served by Feeding America food banks report that their household incomes are inadequate to cover their basic household expenses.

  • 46 percent of client households served report having to choose between paying for utilities or heating fuel and food.
  • 39 percent of client households said they had to choose between paying for rent or a mortgage and food.
  • 34 percent of client households report having to choose between paying for medical bills and food.
  • 35 percent of client households must choose between transportation and food.

One in four client households (24 percent) do not have health insurance and nearly half of our adult clients report that they have unpaid medical and hospital bills.

Thirty percent of households report having at least one member of their household in poor health.

Role of Federal Government

  • 54.4percent of pantries, 33.5percent of kitchens, and 31.4percent of shelters receive food from TEFAP.
  • 41 percent of client households are receiving SNAP (formerly food stamps) benefits, an increase of 64 percent over 2006.
  • 54 percent of client households with children ages 0 to 3 participate in the WIC program, compared to 51 percent in 2006.
  • Among households with school-age children, 62 percent participate in the federal school lunch program and 54 percent participate in the school breakfast program.


  • Feeding America food banks provide food and groceries to 33,500 food pantries, 4,500 soup kitchens and 3,600 emergency shelters.
  • 68 percent of pantries, 42 percent of soup kitchens, and 15 percent of emergency shelters rely solely on volunteers and have no paid staff.
  • 55 percent, are faith-based agencies affiliated with churches, mosques, synagogues and other religious organizations; 33 percent are other types of nonprofit organizations.


Outer Banks Peace and Justice Interfaith Coalition © 2013