When life knocks us down, we all can use a helping hand to get back on our feet. SNAP, TANF, WIC and other safety net programs provide essential assistance to hundreds of thousands of Alabamians who struggle with challenges like unemployment, health problems or wages that are too low to make ends meet. Arise studies the importance of safety net programs to our society and economy and examines the need to continue making strong investments in them.
The Farm Bill is a federal law that funds and governs many food and agricultural programs. It must be renewed about every five years and is up for reauthorization now. The largest program in it is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP provides vital food assistance to people with very low incomes. It also plays [...]
It’s a quiet win for thousands of Alabamians seeking to rebuild their lives and provide for their families: Alabama is joining the majority of U.S. states by allowing people with a past felony drug conviction to receive SNAP food assistance and TANF financial assistance, as long as they are otherwise eligible. The effective starting date for [...]
Many unemployed Alabama adults once again face strict time limits for assistance under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps. These “able-bodied adults without dependents” – folks who do not live in a SNAP household with children – will be allowed to receive SNAP benefits for only three months during a three-year [...]
Congress established WIC in the 1970s to try to reduce disturbingly high infant death rates, and the program has been a success story ever since. Infant mortality rates in Alabama and nationwide have fallen by nearly two-thirds since the creation of the program officially known as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. [...]
The cost of living has increased in the last two decades, but federal money for temporary cash aid for very low-income families has not kept up. The federal government in 1997 froze its allocations for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, informally known as welfare. Since then, the number of families receiving benefits has [...]
Many hungry children miss out on far more than regular meals. Hunger can do serious, long-term harm to a child's health and ability to learn, and childhood hunger is a bigger challenge in Alabama than in most other states. More than one in four of the state's children live in families with incomes below the poverty [...]