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Issues and Voices that Matter December 12, 2013

Food Stamps in Seminole County

Food Stamp;s in Seminole County (photo 'Vegetables' courtesy Mette Finderup)

The federal food stamp program serves 50,000 residents of Seminole County Florida.  What is the impact on our community?  How do recipients qualify? David Jeczala, of the Florida Department of Children & Families, discusses the facts & the function of the program. Heidi, a senior citizen, talks about her struggle to stretch her budget using food pantries. (length 25:29).


(Produced, reported and edited by Desta Horner)

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This podcast explores the food stamp program as it affects Seminole County FL. David Jeczala gives facts, figures and answers questions about how the food stamp program is implemented.

Also included is a conversation with Heidi Van Wegnen a senior citizen, disabled by a work accident. She goes weekly to the Hope Helps food pantry in Oviedo to receive groceries. The Hope pantry and other such charities are supplied by donations and serve hundreds of families in the east Seminole County area.

The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program or SNAP is the federally funded food assistance benefit provided to eligible low income citizens. In 2013, more that 15% of the U.S. population receives these benefits under the program operated by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. Half of all households receiving food stamps have children, 15% of recipients are elderly, and 37% are white, 22% are African American and 10% are Hispanic. Persons eligible for food stamps receive an Electronic Benefits Transfer card or EBT card which acts like a debit card to purchase only groceries in a store or supermarket.

Between 2005 and 2012 during the nation’s economic downturn the cost of the food stamp program increased from $29 billion to $75 billion.

Principal Participants

David Jeczala, community liaison, Florida Department of Children and Families (photo - CMF Public Media)
David Jeczala
Community liaison, Florida Department of Children and Families.
Web | Bio
Heidi Van Wegnen, senior citizen (photo - CMF Public Media)
Heidi Van Wegnen
Senior citizen

Extended interview

David Jeczala, community liaison, Florida Department of Children and Families (photo - CMF Public Media)
David Jeczala with Desta Horner
Length – 29:16
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3 Responses to “Food Stamps in Seminole County”

  1. Francis Oliver says:

    Money is on the south end of the county,no Jobs or money on the north end of the county. The county has not done anything to bring job to Seminole county. This county nourishes the rich and has written off the poor north end. The north end is a good example of taxation without representation. There are ditches that are fill with danger debris all over Goldsboro, some that are 10ft,deep and 10ft wide.
    Why are you making the poor the bad guys in this story. Do a real story on the treatment of the poor in Seminole County.

  2. Jeffrey Payne says:

    This is neither the fault of the rich nor the poor.

    That is a distraction created by the political class, to keep up from seeing that the reason there are no jobs & the reason that food stamps, etc have grown & stayed so large is the greed, arrogance & stupidity of the political class.

    They are so fixated on their phantom utopia of “fundamentally transforming America” that they are blind to the people they are hurting now, & to the poverty that will be inflicted by their policies in the next generation.

    They are “spreading the wealth” by borrowing $17 Trillion from children who’ve never yet been able to vote on the burden they will be required to bear to finance the reelection of today’s Establishment politicians.

  3. Sharon says:

    The truth is the program was cut less than 1% – in real terms this means a person receiving $300 a month will now get $297. With coupons and Buy1 get 1 deals at Publix it can be stretched. What needs to be totally eliminated are the 7-11 & fast food purchases as well as prepared desserts/junk food/soda purchases. My 3 kids & I drink water, do not buy processed food & live on a $250 a month food budget/including packing all lunches – no free food at school. It takes work but is it really someone elses responsibility to pay for soda & candy (yes they can buy candy!) & pizza & hot dogs at 7-11

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