Food Stamp Cards Working Again, Xerox Says

DuPont pioneers food safety testing process

Tucked into two nondescript rooms in the corner of the council on aging offices at the Truro Community Center, the food pantry is somewhat intentionally under-the-radar. We try to be very considerate and respectful of the people who come here, Rose said. The pantry is open four days a week, by appointments only, which are arranged by the Lower Cape Outreach Council. An unmarked side door immediately next to the pantry rooms allows for discreet entry. Not that visitors should be embarrassed, Rose said. In a town with a wide and growing affordability gap, the Truro Food Pantry has become an increasingly relied-upon service for dozens and sometimes hundreds of year-round Truro residents each month. In July, the pantry served 74 households consisting of 112 adults, 16 children and 16 seniors. The pantry provided these residents with 329 bags of groceries across 89 orders in the month. Those numbers are a significant jump from last January, when the pantry provided 61 households with 222 bags of groceries in the month. The number of children served also spiked this year to 40 in a single month. The statistics are going up every month, Rose said. If the trend continues, the pantry could be in store for a record-breaking winter as seasonal jobs dry up and more residents turn to support programs during the bleaker months. Its really hard to say what will happen, but for now I think were meeting the need, Rose said. The Truro Food Pantry was founded in 1998 along with seven other food pantries from Provincetown to Harwich by the Lower Cape Outreach Council.

EBT system failure blocks food stamp debit cards

Shoppers left carts of groceries behind at a packed Market Basket grocery store in Biddeford, Maine, on Saturday because they couldn’t get their benefits, said shopper Barbara Colman, of Saco, Maine. The manager put up a sign saying the EBT system was not in use. Colman, who receives the benefits, called an 800 telephone line for the program and it said the system was down due to maintenance, she said. States affected by the temporary outage included Ohio, Michigan, Alabama, California, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. Ohio’s cash and food assistance card payment systems went down at 11 a.m., said Benjamin Johnson, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Johnson said Xerox asked retailers to revert to a manual system, meaning customers could spend up to $50 until the system was restored. Illinois residents began reporting problems with their cards – known as LINK in that state – on Saturday morning, said Januari Smith, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Human Services. Smith said that typically when the cards aren’t working retailers can call a backup phone number to find out how much money customers have available in their account. But that information also was unavailable because of the outage, so customers weren’t able to use their cards. In Clarksdale, Miss. – one of the poorest parts of one of the poorest states in the nation – cashier Eliza Shook said dozens of angry customers at Corner Grocery had to put back groceries when the cards failed Saturday because they couldn’t afford to pay for the food.

Amplifying the dependencyargument, conservatives disparage democracy by saying that elected officials buy votes by providing food to hungry peopleand other government services. The Christian Post has an example, in Signing Up Seniors for Food Stamps Is Called Buying Votes for Obama, Says Fox News Host. The story reports that Fox News Stuart Varney says,The AARP, huge support[er]s of President Obama, politically and financially, big supporters of Obamacare. And now theyre out there signing people up for food stamps. This is part of the buy-the-vote campaign. Theyre really shifting America, changing what America really is, he said. Far-right Brietbart blasts, HOW MANY VOTES WILL A 70% INCREASE IN FOOD STAMPS BUY? Similarly the right-wing Washington Times says, Food stamps for votes. The idea of a democracy is that people vote for the things they want, everyone has an equal vote, everyone pitches in and everyone shares in the resulting prosperity. Government spending in a democracy is, by definition, We the People doing things to make our lives better. But to conservatives, government doing things that make our lives better is just buying votes. Myth #5: Food stamp recipients take drugs. The Republican bill to cut food stamps also will allow states to require food stamp recipients to be tested for drugs. Harold Pollack and Sheldon Danziger at the Washington Post look at this in House Republicans want drug tests for food-stamp recipients. Theres no good reason for that. They write, Using 2011 data from the National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), we looked at the behaviors and circumstances of adults ages 18-64 whose households received SNAP. We examined whether respondents had used some illicit substance during the previous month or year. We then looked at whether they met screening criteria for abuse or dependence on alcohol or illicit drugs. They found a slightly higher illicit drug use among food stamp recipients. But if you correct for the demographics of people who will be on the program compared to the population at large, that slight risk gets even slighter. So a few more people on food stamps use some drugs than people not on food stamps.

6 absurd right-wing lies about food stamps

Turkey. Cranberries. Green beans and pumpkin pies. The safety of the food that’s an item on someone else’s list. Inside the labs of DuPont’s Nutrition and Health business at the Experimental Station , a team of scientists in Delaware whose life work is rooted in improving food safety testing technologies advance the BAX system, which the firm invented to detect foodborne pathogens, including salmonella, listeria and E. coli. This month, the BAX system was adopted by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service as the official method to detect E. coli in meat, carcasses and so-called environmental sponges, or swabs to detect pathogens in a work environment. The assays also were added to the group’s Microbiology Laboratory Guidebook . “It’s a very, very powerful technique,” said George Tice , research and development director of food diagnostics for DuPont Nutrition and Health. “One very nice feature about it is, depending on how you define your target, you can make it very specific for a strain of bacteria or a genus of bacteria.” In the late ’80s, now-retired DuPont scientist Vinay Chowdhry and a team zeroed in on a Nobel Prize-winning technology called polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which uses the DNA in an organism to identify another specific organism. DuPont became a pioneer in advanced food safety testing by applying the prize-winning science to the pathogen detection process in food and became the “first to introduce an automated detection system,” Tice said. Before DuPont’s BAX system was introduced, the gold standard was taking cultures, measuring them and letting them grow in a petri dish, which took at least five days, said Cathy Andriadis , global public relations leader for DuPont Nutrition and Health. In contrast, the BAX system delivers results in 10 hours or less. Meat, dairy, poultry and produce processors, large manufacturers of food and third-party labs that conduct food safety tests in products and in work environments are DuPont’s customers.