Category Archives: Food

New Op-Ed: Chocolate is a luxury. The people who produce it live in extreme poverty

cocoa_opedNew Op-Ed: Hans Theyer, Chocolate is a luxury. The people who produce it live in extreme poverty, Wash. Post, July 7, 2018.

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New Op-Ed: How America Treats Its Own Children

New Op-Ed: Annie Lowrey, How America Treats Its Own Children, The Atlantic, June 21, 2018.

New Article: Fear and the Safety Net: Evidence from Secure Communities

New Article: Marcella Alsan and Crystal Yang, Fear and the Safety Net: Evidence from Secure Communities, SSRN (2018). Abstract below:

We study the impact of deportation fear on the incomplete take-up of federal safety net programs in the United States. We exploit changes in deportation fear due to the roll-out and intensity of Secure Communities (SC), an immigration enforcement program administered by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) from 2008 to 2014. The SC program empowers the federal government to check the immigration status of anyone arrested by local law enforcement agencies and has led to the issuance of over two million detainers and the forcible removal of approximately 380,000 immigrants. We estimate the spillover effects of SC on Hispanic citizens, finding significant declines in ACA sign-ups and food stamp take-up, particularly among mixed-status households and areas where deportation fear is highest. In contrast, we find little response to SC among Hispanic households residing in sanctuary cities. Our results are most consistent with network effects that perpetuate fear rather than lack of benefit information or stigma.

News Coverage: Battle Escalates Within D.C. Restaurant Industry Over Tipped Minimum Wage Vote

coins_povlaw_imageNews Coverage: Laura Hayes, Battle Escalates Within D.C. Restaurant Industry Over Tipped Minimum Wage Vote, Wash. City Paper, May 9, 2018.

Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences issue dedicated to poverty

Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences issue dedicated to poverty, Volume 4, Issue 2, February 2018 pp. i-176. Contents below and articles are available for free as PDFs. Summary news coverage here.

4(2)pp. i–iii
4(2)pp. 1–19
4(2)pp. 22–42
4(2)pp. 43–73
4(2)pp. 74–90
4(2)pp. 91–112
4(2)pp. 113–130
4(2)pp. 131–160
4(2)pp. 161–176

New Article: “Changing Welfare as We Know it, Again: Reforming the Welfare Reform Act to Provide All Drug Felons Access to Food Stamps”

New Article: Meghan Looney Paresky, Changing Welfare as We Know it, Again: Reforming the Welfare Reform Act to Provide All Drug Felons Access to Food Stamps, 58 B.C. L. Rev. 1659 (2017). Abstract below:

Approximately half a million Americans are currently incarcerated for drug convictions at the state and federal level. President Clinton’s 1996 enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (“PRWORA”) affects this enormous class of individuals by including a provision that places a lifetime ban on access to welfare benefits, including food stamps, for individuals who have been convicted of a drug felony. Although there is an option within PRWORA for states to modify or opt out of the provision, six states and territories still enforce the full lifetime ban, and most states have some form of the ban in effect. This provision, introduced as a part of the “tough on drugs” initiative of the 1990s, disparately affects minorities and low-income communities and serves to perpetuate the cycle of recidivism. Thus, Congress must amend PRWORA to eliminate the drug felony component altogether, so that individuals with drug felony convictions are no longer singled out amongst felons to be denied access to food stamps. In the short term, the United States Department of Agriculture should promote uniformity across states by introducing a model reform of the PRWORA drug felony provision for states to follow. These modifications will combat the grave societal problems imposed by the PRWORA drug felony provision, and allow all convicted drug felons to obtain important welfare benefits, including food stamps.

New Article: “Barring Survivors of Domestic Violence from Food Security: The Unintended Consequences of 1996 Welfare and Immigration Reform”

New Article: Claire R. Thomas &Ernie Collette, Barring Survivors of Domestic Violence from Food Security: The Unintended Consequences of 1996 Welfare and Immigration Reform, 9 Drexel L. Rev. 353 (2017). Abstract below:

During the 1990s, Congress amended the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) to create forms of immigration relief for previously neglected vulnerable groups. One such group—survivors of domestic violence—was aided through the Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”), which amended the INA to allow abused spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents to self-petition for family-based immigration benefits without the abuser’s knowledge. Both abused female and male spouses are able to receive immigration benefits under VAWA, as well as spouses in same-sex marriages.

Despite protections in immigration law for survivors of domestic violence, two other acts—the Professional Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (“PWORA”) and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (“IIRIRA”)—which also passed in the 1990s fundamentally changed immigration policy and made it more difficult for members of these vulnerable groups to access public benefits.

This Article will focus on the “unintended consequences” that both of these Acts created by excluding vulnerable groups from access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”). By comparing public benefits access for categories of immigrants, such as survivors of domestic violence, trafficking, and those who obtained asylum protection, this Article will advocate for reforms at the federal, state, and local level to increase access to food security for vulnerable groups.

News Coverage: “Why the Trump administration won’t let Maine ban soda and candy from food stamps”

News Coverage: Caitlin Dewey, Why the Trump administration won’t let Maine ban soda and candy from food stamps, Wash. Post, Jan. 20, 2018.

Op-ed: “Inequality is Feeding America”

Op-ed: Jim Hightower, Inequality is Feeding America, CommonDreams, Jan. 3, 2018.

New Article: “Unaccompanied and Excluded from Food Security: A Call for the Inclusion of Immigrant Youth Twenty Years after Welfare Reform”

New Article: Claire R. Thomas & Ernie Collette, Unaccompanied and Excluded from Food Security: A Call for the Inclusion of Immigrant Youth Twenty Years after Welfare Reform, 31 Geo. Immigration L. Rev. 197 (2017). Abstract below:

The purpose of this paper is to advocate for immediate access to SNAP (Food Stamps) benefits for immigrant kids applying for and granted Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) in both New York State and at the federal level through the historical background of exclusionary immigration policies, an examination of PRWORA, and the application of a case study. First, this paper will briefly discuss the historical background of U.S. immigration policy as exclusionary of certain groups of immigrants, particularly those thought to become a public charge, and the correlation between anti-immigrant sentiment and the passage of laws restricting access to public benefits. Next, this paper will examine the SNAP sections of the PRWORA in great depth, after almost twenty years since its passage and enactment, through the review of pre-PRWORA immigrant eligibility rules and the expansion of post-PRWORA categories since 1996.