Food Stamp Debit Cards Failing To Work In 17 States
CDT, October 14, 2013 With the successful publication of the Lake County Sustainable Local Food Systems Report in June, a group of representatives from public and nonprofit organizations recently formed the Lake County Local Food Working Group to advance several of the reports recommendations. The Lake County Local Food Working Group, co-chaired by Pat Carey, Lake County Board Commissioner, and Brad Leibov, President and CEO of the Liberty Prairie Foundation, was formed this summer to help carry the Lake County Sustainable Local Food Systems Report recommendations forward. Working group members consist of original project partners, which include representatives from Conserve Lake County, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), College of Lake County, Lake County, Lake County Forest Preserve District, Libertyville Township, Liberty Prairie Foundation, Openlands, and the recent addition of University of Illinois Extension. The working group will convene quarterly over a period of 12 months to serve as a forum for project partners to address ongoing barriers to a sustainable local food system and identify opportunities to collaboratively implement the reports recommendations. Sustainable local food systems balance economic prosperity, environmental preservation, and public health while moving agricultural products from farmer to consumer. National, regional, and local trends indicate a shift in farming practices and consumer demand, as well as present an opportunity for Lake County to capitalize on this growing economic sector. Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor said he is encouraged by the potential of a stronger local food system. The Lake County Board supports local food production and recognizes its many benefits, including building healthy communities and investing in our local economy, he said. We are pleased to partner with the Local Food Working Group. Our work will help us advance this important initiative in Lake County.” According to CMAP, in Illinois, an estimated $46 billion (96 percent) of annual food expenditures, $14 billion of which consists of fruits and vegetables, is spent on imported food. A significant portion of this demand could be produced in the state and region, yielding an estimated $2.5 billion in economic activity in the region and $10 billion in the state.
Food costs drive up inflation, odds of RBI rate hike rise
The benchmark 10-year government bond yield ended up 8 basis points on the day at 8.57 percent, its highest since September 23. Other data showed consumer prices rose 9.84 percent year-on-year in September, the fastest pace in three months. Economists in a Reuters poll last week had forecast an annual 9.60 percent rise in retail prices. India is not the only major emerging market wrestling with inflation and high food costs – China’s consumer inflation hit a seven-month high of 3.1 percent in September. But the pace of growth in food prices in India stood out, rising to an annual 18.40 percent last month, the fastest clip since July 2010 and triple the 6.1 percent rise seen in China. Inflation data comes on the heels of Friday’s disappointing industrial output numbers. Output grew a much-slower-than expected 0.6 percent in August, hurt by weak investment and consumer demand, dashing hopes of an economic rebound by the end of the year. STAGFLATION? The data fills out a picture of high inflation and weak growth in Asia’s third-largest economy, which some analysts define as akin to stagflation. India is struggling to lift its economic growth rate, which hit a decade-low of 5 percent in the fiscal year that ended in March. But Rajan has clearly signaled that he will focus on price stability, which he sees as a necessary condition for raising the rate of growth. Higher interest rates are likely to further dent hopes of faster growth, however. That will be a worry for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Congress party as it campaigns for five state elections starting in November, a warm up for national elections due by next May. The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has gained momentum in recent months thanks in part to the performance of the economy under Singh, a veteran economist and reformer.
In Clarksdale, Miss. one of the poorest parts of one of the poorest states in the nation cashier Eliza Shook said dozens of customers at Corner Grocery had to put back groceries when the cards failed Saturday because they couldn’t afford to pay for the food. After several hours, she put a sign on the front door to tell people about the problem. “It’s been terrible,” Shook said in a phone interview. “It’s just been some angry folks. That’s what a lot of folks depend on.” Mississippi Department of Human Services director Rickey Berry confirmed that Xerox, the state’s EBT vendor, had computer problems. “I know there are a lot of mad people,” Berry said. Sheree Powell, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, started receiving calls around 11:30 a.m. about problems with the state’s card systems. More than 600,000 Oklahomans receive SNAP benefits, and money is dispersed to the cards on the first, fifth and 10th days of every month, so the disruption came at what is typically a high-use time for the cards. Oklahoma also runs a separate debit card system for other state benefits like unemployment payments. Those cards can be used at ATMs to withdraw cash. Powell said Xerox administers both the EBT and debit card systems, and they both were down initially. Powell said that some grocery store cashiers had been speculating that the federal government’s shutdown caused the problem, but state officials have been assured that that is not the case. Powell said Oklahoma’s Xerox representative told them that the problems stemmed from a power failure at a data center.
Food trucks’ health getting letter grades
Each food truck operating in Jefferson County will be required to display a placard showing the results of the food trucks last health department inspection. Click here to see a database of local restaurant scores. The public should expect to see placards with letter grades of A, B or C appearing on food trucks over the next several months, as food inspectors make their rounds, according to a news release. Previously, food trucks were considered statewide food establishment by the states standards and could operate in each of the states 120 counties. All health data was coordinated through Frankfort, and Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government didnt have ready access to that data, according to Matt Rhodes , deputy director of Department of Public Health and Wellness. Inspections of trucks operating in Louisville now are conducted by the Louisville health department. The decision to post the A, B, C grades was prompted by the food truck owners, Rhodes said. We just feel like food trucks are likely a growing phenomenon, Rhodes said. We think theyre here to stay. For more information on how food scores are calculated, click here . Andrew Robinson covers these beats: Restaurants, retail, government, human resources, technology, automotive (dealers, services), media/marketing/printing, young professionals, West End, East End and Oldham County. Industries: