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Well , I think you know certainly many here and most of the beneficiaries are already working , you know , there the working poor , or they may be people in the elderly who are no longer able to work that move the food assistance you’re providing them frees up other resources that they’re able to use for housing or health care that I think and with our earlier caller who told about her experiences. She hadn’t had food stamps . It would have helped center into a spiral of other problems perhaps resulting in homelessness . And so , you know these I think are a perfect example of the the kind of a helping hand and and the leg up . There are many program provisions that place restrictions on how long people can be on the program if they’re able bodied for example but this in many ways I think is the first line of assistance and trying to help people come to a better place and .
Right. Perhaps of Luton hours so quickly getting away from us . Matt Highland perhaps can you address the fraud , abuse people who who would have something against this program might point to that is there , fraud , abuse , misuse and how is that tackled .
I think historically that you have heard those anecdotally , and I think with the changes towards the EDT program , we see a lot less of that and we still see that as a major mis perception of the program. Though we do work with the Department of inspection and appeals were over potential fraud is identified to address those concerns .
Okay. In the states . In fact , I believe that you can speak to this are provided with additional benefits depending on how well of a job you do in terms of policing the operation of the program and reducing errors and program delivery . So if the states have an incentive in in making sure the programs are well run .
Okay. Logan is with us in Waterloo , thanks for joining us . Logan , please be concise were coming to the end of our hour but we’re sure glad to have you on the program .
Thank you for having me. I just wanted to say that when I was growing up we my family to handed on these social programs like now benefits and do you know when I left for college . I was working in over a part time just to provide for rent and the cost of being in school and I missed I was able to get this now benefits again they they really just come in handy for those people who are working really hard might welcome my parents were and it is to think that they wanna take away like our freedom of choice of unhealthy food I think is just another GOP tactic a war on the poor , take away the healthy food , take away the access to healthcare . Keep on sick and I guess although my thoughts on it is , it came in here , really it was really important in my childhood to make sure that we could get by .
Okay , thank you. Logan in Waterloo join our Conversation 1-8-6 6-7 80 9100 before we go back to the lines are Matt jump in with any critical information you think we haven’t we covered this hour because we’re going to leave a few things off . Who is this man .
That this is Neil. I I think as I mentioned , you know there’s a historically been a lot of political conflict and concern over food stamps often coming up in the context of the farm bill debates , such as we had in 2014 when the House tried to pull the nutrition program . Apart from the farm program and the Senate rejected that they were reassembled and even agriculture community says know these 2 programs need to stand together with each other . Oftentimes , the question is what we’re spending too much , but you can’t really answer that question . In the abstract because you have to think about the purpose of the program and people get ask are we spending too much on crop insurance , for example , what we have to act ourselves . What’s a purpose of it , what are we trying to achieve with it and I think that’s a way we need to think about these programs .
Let’s go to Mary in Moline.
Hi , Mary. Welcome to our program for from across the river .
What’s on your mind.
I am all in favor food stamps for people that need the help : My only problem with the program is absolutely people you receive the food I I believe that if there is it. It is believed they should be tested for drugs . Okay . I feel that the people that really truly need them and that are out there trying to better themselves . Well , the East drug free .
Well then , can can I ask , Mary , a question , I know you know yet has , you know , when I was these be briefly on reveal you hear about drug testing but Mary. So what do you do with the children of the person that comes up with a positive drug test . The children go hungry . And then what they’re supposed to talk to their parents about the error their ways .
No I’m out of several people unfortunately that do things and they are just really hit you know care of their children at that time. They’re looking for their cigarettes their marijuana in their mouth and boy have been were reported . You did . I mean you know services but they haven’t been proving that unfit parent Mikhail .
They they’re getting around a living around the system married well in Mali. We we we get the picture I wanna talk with Mayor Highland about some of that . The restrictions are what hurdles are there to 2 in this direction to to receive snap benefits .
He is well the food benefit assistance program does have required that the food be non-prepared food and drink , so anything like cigarettes or something beyond that would not be something that they can use their benefits for it is limited to unprepared not hot food or drink.
But , but at this time. No drug tests to to rule out what Mary is describing their Moline .
Not at this point , I think there’s various things working through the Legislature and we don’t have a line of sight exactly where those things will end up , but that this point we don’t have those requirements for our recipients. Okay .
Very quickly to to Joe in is it Donahue Joey you there. Okay , very quickly . Please . Thanks for being with us .
First of all , I want to say that I appreciate that the program exists when I got out of the service in December of 1971 I did not have a job I was trained as a teacher. Not a good time to be looking for work in December . I was on food stamps for a one-month and I got a job as a substitute teacher and was able to get enough to get off of food stamps . I don’t like being on food stamps . But it was a nice program the have when you needed it . I think I wanna say is regarding the very first woman that you had on . I wondered if she was speaking where was her former husband right but we’re here’s duties as to feeding his his children . It seems to me that too much of a load was put on the woman . In that case and there was one of the people said . The average person on food stamps is a woman probably with children . So I think there needs to be addressed to that the responsibilities of the man in this situation .
Okay. Joe in Donahue , thank you very much . Very good points and we’ll close our show there with Jill we’ve run out of time . Thanks for all the great calls from our listeners . Thank you to our listener for guests Highland . The Iowa Department of Human Services and Neil Hamilton Professor of Law , director of the Agricultural Law Centre at Drake University both you know art to mourn studio Neil and Matt . Thank you both for coming in . Thank you , Ben . Great . You know right tomorrow on our program politics day and see new polls on mental health and gun laws . We’ll talk about that tomorrow the politics they wait Moyer of Grinnell College will be with us . Donna Hoffman at the University of Northern Iowa hope you’ll join us tomorrow Wednesday for our program to River is produced by Lindsey Mooney and we would and then Stanton help also today from Lulu Dewey her executive producer is Catherine Perkins I’ve been Kiefer thanks for joining us .
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