News

April 30, 2020

Mayor Peduto Calls for Online SNAP Purchasing Options

On April 28, Mayor William Peduto issued a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in support of efforts to expand affordable SNAP purchasing options — including food delivery and online ordering — for vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

About

Mayor Peduto’s letter follows calls by U.S. Senator Bob Casey and others to expand the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides eligible low-income residents with an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) debit card to purchase food.

Currently, SNAP recipients cannot make any food purchases online. While other consumers can use online ordering and delivering to protect themselves and others from spreading the virus, these options are not available to low-income residents and families who are forced to make their purchases in person, increasing their likelihood of contracting COVID-19.

Senator Casey has been calling on the USDA to expand SNAP delivery options since March when stay-at-home guidelines were put into effect in Pennsylvania and across the United States of America. The Food Policy Council wants the USDA to allow SNAP recipients to purchase food for delivery and to allow other safe food purchasing options, such as allowing users to use their EBT cards for Instacart or online farmers market services.

What is SNAP?

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of low-income families so they can purchase healthy food. Eligible applicants receive an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) ACCESS Card to make food purchases. To check your eligibility or apply, please visit the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services website.

For questions about SNAP, call the Department of Human Services helpline at 1.800.692.7462 or your county assistance office. For individuals with hearing impairments, please call 1.800.451.5886.

More on SNAP Purchasing Options

To learn more, view the full press release or a copy of the letter to Secretary Perdue.

*Information provided by the City of Pittsburgh

News

March 13, 2019

Child Care Becoming More Unaffordable for Low-Income Parents

Overview

A recent research brief, Child Care Affordability for Working Parents, from the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, finds that many U.S. parents who are highly attached to the labor force would have a difficult time purchasing full-time center-based care.

Spending

This finding is especially true for low-income, Hispanic and black parents. Overall, parents working full time and year-round would spend 10 percent of family income to send their children to full-time center-based child care; low-income parents working full time and year-round would spend 28 percent. Almost all low-income parents working full time and year round would have to spend more than the federal affordability benchmark of 7 percent to send their children to full-time center-based child care.

Ranking

According to the brief, Pennsylvania ranks fifth highest nationally in child care price to income ratios for low-income parents, and in fourth highest for Hispanic parents.

Analysis

Even for families with a parent working a full-time year-round job, full-time center-based child care for young children and care during the school year for school-age children is largely unaffordable. Importantly, the parents included in this analysis are those with a clear need for child care.

This analysis has three key findings about the affordability of center-based care for working parents. First, market-price full-time center-based care would be difficult to afford for a majority of U.S. working parents. Second, center-based child care presents an even greater financial burden for low-income working parents – virtually all (95%) low-income full-time year-round working parents face unaffordable child care costs. Finally, because larger proportions of working black and Hispanic parents earn low incomes than working white and Asian/Pacific Islander parents, child care affordability issues disproportionately affect black and Hispanic working families. This disproportionate burden has the potential to exacerbate racial/ethnic disparities in both family economic security and child wellbeing.

Read the full research brief here

News

November 28, 2018

Film Screening | We Wear the Mask: The Hidden Faces of Women in Poverty

Join Just Films in their free screening of Pittsburgh filmmaker Tammy Thompson’s “We Wear the Mask.” After the screening, Thompson and the women featured in the documentary will participate in a panel discussion and Q&A session. This event is free and open to the public. Register here.

For any questions, contact Melody Harris via phone (412.365.1578) or email (m.harris@chatham.edu).

About the Film

“We Wear the Mask” powerfully represents the challenges for low-income women in Pittsburgh, and demonstrates the psychological effects of poverty. Women are disproportionately disadvantaged by growing economic inequality in our country and region. This evocative documentary follows three different women who have faced similar struggles, and illuminates the human impact of economic injustice through their stories.

Just Films

Just Films is brought to you by the Chatham University Women’s Institute, Gwen’s Girls, the Women and Girls Foundation, the Women’s Law Project, and YWCA Greater Pittsburgh.

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