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Call 606-638-0123 today! - Business News

Date: 11-15-2013

Food stamp funding cut; benefit decrease hit on Nov. 1

Recipients of funding from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as food stamps, will notice their benefits have been reduced by a few dollars this month.

The decreased funding to SNAP is because of the expiration of benefits implemented in 2009 by the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Congress voted not to extend the stimulus funding.

As of September, there were 5,585 individuals receiving SNAP benefits in Taylor County. Figures for October aren't yet available.

Anya Weber, a spokesperson for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, said the decrease in benefits is affecting virtually every recipient.

"We're disappointed that this extra funding elapsed, but we still think it's a very valuable program," Weber said.

She said each household will see about a 5 1/2 percent decrease in their benefits. For a household of one, Weber said, the difference would be about $11 less. A household of two would receive about $20 less, a household of three would receive about $29 less and a household of four would get about $36 less each month.

"We hope that people use their benefits wisely when they're at the store," Weber said. "Get things that they know they will use."

Becky Nash, county extension agent for Family and Consumer Sciences, said the nutrition education programs administered by University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service target low-income families and individuals who need nutrition education.

Nash said the programs help families plan their grocery budgets wisely and prepare healthy meals using simple, inexpensive ingredients. To reach out to individuals who can benefit from the education programs, Nash said those at the extension office work with local schools and give children the opportunity to taste fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as set up booths at health fairs, grocery stores on senior days, Market Off Main and Taylor County Farmers' Market.

"There's a lot of lessons to be learned in stretching those food dollars," Nash said.

Nash said those who grew up in other generations often learned about the importance of conserving their financial resources and how to cook from their parents. But it's the younger generation, many of whom don't know how to cook from scratch, she worries about.

Nash said the availability of ready-to-eat, packaged foods that can be purchased with SNAP benefits is very tempting.

"But the more food is processed and becomes a convenience food," Nash said, "the more expensive it is because of the increased labor, packaging, advertising and transportation."

Nash said the programs help wean individuals off nutritionally poor foods such as chips and soft drinks, and instead use their money to buy healthier, more economical food items.

For those individuals and families who continue to struggle to keep food on the table, Weber said local food pantries and charity organizations have proven to be invaluable as they help fill in the gaps to ensure no one goes hungry.

"We depend on these organizations and we hope that citizens can turn to them in times of need, especially during the colder months," Weber said.

Marietta Moyers, a volunteer at the Taylor County Food Pantry, said the pantry distributes food to about 300 families a month. Moyers said a family can receive items from the food pantry every two months. The pantry is open by appointment only.

"I feel that what we give is a great amount, and if used right, it will be a great boost to food stamps," Moyers said.

Moyers said the pantry's food items come from Feeding America, a hunger-relief charity, and donations from the local community. Moyers said the pantry receives much support from the community, especially during the holiday season. She said the food pantry has been blessed by the Lord through the community's response and the workers, all of whom are volunteers.

She said this allows every dollar given to the food pantry to be strictly used to buy food.

Moyers said some people who rely on the food pantry don't appreciate it or ask why they can't have more, however, the majority of them are very appreciative.

"I feel people need to watch how they use food stamps and food pantry food," Moyers said. "Others are giving this food to them and they need to realize that."

According a news release from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, SNAP recipients can't appeal the decrease in benefits because it's the result of a change in federal law.

Weber said recipients are encouraged to use the state's SNAP customer service website at to access their benefits and can sign up to receive alerts in the event of future changes.

For more information about SNAP, visit

By Leslie Moore
Central Kentucky News-Journal

Date: 11-13-2013

600 sign up for summit on Appalachia

Kentucky Press News Service

FRANKFORT – Kentuckians concerned about the future of southern and eastern Kentucky are responding to a call from Gov. Steve Beshear, U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers and other leaders to participate in an effort to focus on the future success of the Appalachian region.

U.S. Rep Hal Rogers and Ky. Gov. Steve Beshear are leading an effort to boost E. Ky. economyU.S. Rep Hal Rogers and Ky. Gov. Steve Beshear are leading an effort to boost E. Ky. economyAlready 600 people have registered for the Dec. 9 summit titled "Shaping our Appalachian Region" (SOAR), to be held at the Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center in Pikeville.

“We know the people who live and work hard in this region are eager to help shape its economic future, and to provide the ideas needed to overcome both short-term and long-term challenges,” Beshear said in a news release. “So this overwhelming response is gratifying, but not surprising.”

“We want folks to know that every voice will be heard at this summit, whether by submitting an idea electronically or through face-to-face interactions,” Rogers said. “The urgency for more jobs is overwhelming, as even more eastern Kentucky coal mines announced layoffs last week. It’s time to get to work, so it’s encouraging to see our people are ready to pitch in on December 9th.

Registration remains open for anyone who wants to contribute a voice or vision for strategies to transform the region, build on its strengths and overcome obstacles to success. The summit is open to any Kentuckian with an interest in participating, and is completely free. Register at

Beshear, Rogers, Senate President Robert Stivers, House Speaker Greg Stumbo and other leaders announced plans for the summit last month. The Rural Policy Research Institute, a national policy institute dedicated to fostering public dialogue and solutions to the challenges facing rural regions and communities, will help facilitate discussions at the SOAR Summit.

Other national and regional agencies supporting the SOAR effort include the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development and the Appalachian Regional Commission.

D-12 snowfighters set to mobilize at 5 a.m. Tuesday, November 12; Precautionary measure for commuie...

Monday, November 11, 4:00 p.m.

Snowfighters throughout Highway District 12 will mobilize at 5 o’clock tomorrow morning, Tuesday, November 12, in response to forecasts predicting snow late tonight into mid-day tomorrow.

D-12 Engineer Darold Slone said that various radar models and information from the National Weather Service center at Jackson indicate that higher elevations could receive up to an inch of snow, with a “dusting” in the valleys.

“As a precautionary measure, all crews will be out at 5 a.m. in anticipation of the morning commute,” Slone said. The District Office Snow and Ice Command Center will open at the same time, under the direction of Karen Parsons and Terry Tackett.

For people who are interested in District 12’s preparations for winter weather, Darold Slone is scheduled as a guest on East Kentucky Broadcasting’s morning shows – Jump Start on the Oldies, Full Throttle on Classic Rock, Coal Country Mornings, and Day Break on WDHR – during the 7 o’clock hour.

Slone is also set to appear on Foxy and Friends on WIFX from 8-8:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 14.

During weather events, updates on District 12 road conditions are posted on the Facebook page, KYTC District 12, and are distributed to all area media organizations.

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