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New welfare guidelines may increase need for emergency food

July 11, 2006

From the July 7 edition of the Foodlinks America electronic newsletter:

“Revised guidelines for what can be counted to meet work requirements in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, the federal government’s main welfare support mechanism for families with children, reduce state flexibility and may increase the number of families in need of emergency food. The new regulations were issued by the US Department of Health and Human Services in the June 28, 2006 Federal Register.

“Welfare analysts found the new rules to be unduly restrictive….

“‘In the late 1990s, in a better economy with more spending on child care and other work supports, states had a hard time reaching even the lower work standards,’ Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, told Foodlinks America. ‘Now, with fewer jobs available and less money for work supports, states will have no choice but to throw more people off the rolls – whether or not they have jobs,’ Berg noted. ‘The new rules will likely increase poverty, homelessness, and hunger – the absolute opposite of their stated goal of helping people achieve self-sufficiency,’ he said.”

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