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The broad reach of poverty is making news


A new report from the Poverty Research Institute of Legal Services of New Jersey has drawn attention to the large share of New Jersey's population facing real poverty. By comparing census data to the market-cost budgets published in the 2013 Real Cost of Living study, the report finds that nearly one third of New Jersey residents face deprivation. The report also examines variations between official poverty levels and real poverty for a variety of vulnerable demographic groups, with alarming results. 


The findings have received significant media attention ( see here), and are available on the PRI website for advocates to use in their efforts to generate attention and resources to fight poverty. 


Focus on New Jersey's poor handling of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

 

New Jersey's handling of nutrition assistance for our neediest neighbors is gaining negative attention with new information about compounding problems. APN has been tracking the elimination of the Heat & Eat program - a federal option that allowed a significant percentage of New Jersey SNAP recipients to access higher nutrition benefits - following the Governor's veto of related budget language. Before it was cut, the program also provided a paperwork simplification for the understaffed county welfare agencies who process SNAP benefits. News of the state's near-worst performance in processing applications within the mandated 30 days (NJ ranks 52 of 53) is drawing attention to this magnified failure to meet the needs of the most vulnerable. A new report from New Jersey Policy Perspective has drawn attention to the issue, including a strong editorial from the Star Ledger. 


For an in-depth discussion of the program and the broad impact of its termination, check out this NJ Spotlight article

 

While the Heat & Eat program has ended the streamlining of applications and approvals, the state is still obligated to provide higher benefits for many recipients who can document their utility need. Stayed tuned for guidance on how recipients and advocates can push for these benefits.


Upcoming events

24 Sep 2014 10:00 AM • NJEA, 180 West State Street, Trenton, NJ
09 Oct 2014 9:30 AM • Catholic Charities, 383 W. State St., Trenton
12 Nov 2014 10:00 AM • NJEA, 180 West State Street, Trenton, NJ

The APN thanks the Fund for New Jersey for its substantial support of our efforts to advance the cause of eradicating poverty in the state. 


© Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey (APN)

info@antipovertynetwork.org





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