News Items Archive

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

House Passes Welfare Drug-Testing Bill

HARRISBURG — Some welfare recipients soon could have one more hurdle to clear in order to receive benefits. The state House in a 164-23 vote Wednesday night approved a bill requiring drug testing for welfare applicants who are on probation and parole for drug offenses or who had been convicted within five years.

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Proposed budget cuts to welfare offices: penny wise and pound foolish

Valerie Bowens works part-time and takes care of her 82-year-old mother. On three separate occasions over the past nine months, the welfare office has tried to stop their food stamps and Medicaid. Each time, the reason given was because paperwork they had submitted was lost or the office mistakenly thought they had moved. Each time, […]

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Pittsburgh City Paper

Block Aid

Advocates for low-income Pennsylvanians are sounding the alarm about a package of bills in Harrisburg that places serious roadblocks in front of anyone seeking assistance through food stamps, welfare or other social services. House Republicans have introduced eight bills under the name WelFAIR (Fairness, Accountability, Integrity and Responsibility). Some of the proposed requirements include: photo […]

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Agencies decry GOP-proposed spending cuts

Sakiyah Hall likes fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains, her mother Teeoina said Thursday. Her family may not be able to afford those healthy foods if Congress slashes funding for the WIC program, Teeoina Hall said. Ms. Hall and her 17-month-old daughter, who live in Homewood, put human faces on the effects that $60 billion […]

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Pittsburgh City Paper

Tax Shelter

As a single mom with two kids, Debrajean Hill has to make her paychecks stretch. And she’s often in need of quick cash to pay her bills. That’s why in years past, the South Side resident typically visited a for-profit tax preparer — like H&R Block or Jackson Hewitt — every tax season, paying a […]

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Study quantifies efforts of nonprofits

In 2005, domestic violence victims found that Pennsylvania was not following the law exempting them from welfare work requirements due to trauma or other effects of abuse. Enter Just Harvest, which promotes economic justice through public policy and services that combat hunger and poverty. The organization stepped in to ensure that welfare caseworkers were trained […]

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Better losing to guns

I just read on the Just Harvest website that Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak took on Just Harvest’s challenge — to try and live on a food stamp budget for a week. This amounts to about $6 a day for food for an unemployed adult.

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Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Food pantries face tall task with more residents struggling

Thirty years ago, a statistic shocked Joyce Rothermel into action. A study by the Hunger Action Coalition revealed that 48,000 people in Allegheny County had gone for 24 hours without eating. “Knowing about something is one thing, and finding ways to concretely do something is another,” said Rothermel, 65, of Wilkins.

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Food Pantries Feel Crunch as Families Struggle

At 9 a.m. sharp, the line outside began filling the waiting room at the Northside Common Ministries’ food pantry. It wasn’t a typical Wednesday; there aren’t typical any days anymore. The pantry on Brighton Road in California-Kirkbride is an inset of the larger picture in Allegheny County, where the struggle to put food on the […]

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Pittsburgh City Paper

Welfare Taxed

Brighton Heights resident Anita Lawrence-Bandy realized she might be in for a rough patch after losing her job. Times are tough all over. What the 52-year-oldĀ didn’tĀ realize, however, is how difficult it would be to just get someone from the state Department of Public Welfare to pick up the phone. Like unemployed people across the state […]

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