Monday, September 24, 2012

Free Eye Exams in Chester: Sept. 24-29

VSP Vision Care and NBA star Tyreke Evans are offering free eye exams and glasses to low-income residents in Chester, PA from September 24-29, 2012. Sites will be as follows:

Monday, September 24th, 2012
Stester Elementary School
Students Only

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
Chester Boys and Girls Club
Open to Public

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012
Columbus Elementary and Chester High
Students Only

Thursday, September, 27th, 2012
J. Lewis Crozer Library
Open to Public

Friday, September 28th, 2012
Showalter Middle School
Students Only

Saturday, September 29th, 2012
9th Street Youth and Community Center
Open to Public

Qualifications to receive services on the mobile clinic:
--Family income at or under 200% of poverty level
--Is not enrolled in Medicaid or any other vision insurance
--Is a U.S. citizen or documented immigrant with a Social Security number
--Has not used program during the last 12 months

To schedule an appointment at a community site please contact:
Ms. Ebone Butler, BSN
Chester City Bureau of Health

Register for FRAC's Federal Nutrition Program Conference Calls

Fruit-bar-pic-Web - Flickr - USDAgovThe Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) will host two public conference calls in October. Information on the calls follows below:

Breakfast Matters - Effective Messaging: Getting Positive Press in your Community

Thursday October 11, 3 – 4 pm ET

Learn tips from a national communications firm about how to place your stories with local media and receive positive press coverage for your program.

* Jon Dickl, School Nutrition Director, Knox County Schools, Tennessee
* Amber LaCroix, BRG Communications

Afterschool Meals Matter - Community Partnerships

Wednesday, October 17, at 1:00 pm EST

Learn how you can connect with a myriad of community partners, from parent groups to corporate volunteer programs, who can offer you and your program their time, energy, and support. Community partners can assist you with meal preparation, programming, outreach to increase your participation, and ultimately to help build up community support and investment in your program. Community partners can help ensure the sustainability and growth of your program overtime to enable you to serve a greater number of meals and snacks to children after school.

Presenters to be announced.

We encourage you to sign-up early for the upcoming calls to ensure your reservation.

From our friends at the Food Research and Action Center

DelCo Drug Take-Back Day

Prozac pills croppedDistrict Attorney John J. Whelan joined Delaware County Council to urge residents to dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs during national Take-Back Day set for 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, at 16 locations throughout the county.
The Take-Back initiative is a nationwide campaign that aims to collect potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs and properly dispose of them. The program is free, anonymous and will take place 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 29 at 16 collection sites.
According to officials, those who participate in this event will help reduce the supply of prescription drugs available to those who might otherwise try to steal, abuse or sell them. At the Take-Back event, collection sites will anonymously accept both prescription and over-the-counter products that are solid in nature (tablets or capsules) with no questions asked. However, any intravenous solutions, injectables, needles, or illegal substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine will not be accepted. This effort is specifically for prescription and over-the-counter medications only.

Take-Back sites in Delaware County that will accept prescription drugs from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, include:

Aldan Municipal Building: 1 West Providence Road, Aldan
Brookhaven Municipal Center: 2 Cambridge Road, Brookhaven
Chester Police Department: 160 E. 7th St., Chester
Eddystone Police Department/Lighthouse Hall: 1401 E. 9th St., Crum Lynne
Glenolden Police Department: 38 Boon Ave., Glenolden
Marcus Hook Community Center: 7 W. Delaware Ave., Marcus Hook
Marple Township: Giant, 2910 Springfield Road, Broomall
Media Borough Police Department: 301 N. Jackson St., Media
PA State Police Barricks: 1342 W. Baltimore Pike, Middletown
Nether Providence Police Station: 214 Sykes Lane, Wallingford
Radnor Township Municipal Building: Wayne Senior Center, 108 Station Rd., Wayne
Sharon Hill Police Department: 1110 Spring Street, Sharon Hill
Springfield Township Building: 50 Powell Road, Springfield
Tinicum Township Police Department: 629 North Gov. Printz Blvd., Essington
Upper Chichester Police Department: 8400 Furey Road, Upper Chichester
Upper Darby High School: 601 Lansdowne Ave., Drexel Hill

For more information about the nationwide Take-Back event visit Information is also available on the County website at

Urge an End to Life Without Parole Sentences for Juveniles

On Tuesday, September 25th, the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee is going to amend language on juvenile lifers into Senate Bill 850 (,a bill on cyberbullying.

That amendment will leave life without parole as an option for kids convicted of first degree homicide, with an alternative sentence of 35-to-life for 15-17 year olds and 25-to-life for 14 and under.

Life without parole should never be an option for kids with developing brains and the capacity for remorse and rehabilitation. The Pennsylvania Council of Churches is circulating a letter addressed to the PA general assembly urging a reconsideration of this practice. As the letter says, "the practice of condemning children to die in prison without any opportunity for a second chance ignores the potential that these young people have for genuine remorse and rehabilitation."

You can sign the letter to members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly at

Courtesy of the Pennsylvania Council of Churches Advocacy Ministry

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Americans in Struggle

Philadelphia Unemployment Project is about to begin the second year of the Americans
in Struggle Film Series. This year they have another inspirational and diverse set
of films to show. There is no charge for the films, but donations will be accepted.

Americans in Struggle

Film series presenting some of the great battles for justice and equality in American

Tuesdays 6 pm- 112 N. Broad St. 2ndFloor

Refreshments from 5:30- Brief discussion following the film

Bridge to Freedom 9/25- 

The story of the bloody Selma, Alabama civil rights campaign
to win the right to vote for African Americans, which horrified the nation and led
to passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The Wobblies 10/9-

Documentary on the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) who worked
to win one big union for all working people in the early part of the 20th century.
The Wobblies fought for the 8 hour day and organized farm workers, miners, loggers,
longshoremen, maritime workers and others without regard to class, race or ethnic
origin. They were forerunners to the industrial unionization which was led by the
CIO in the 30s, 40s and 50s.

Egalite for All-

Toussaint Louverture & the Haitian Revolution 10/23- The only successful
slave insurrection in modern history. It took place between 1791 and 1804, in concert
with the French Revolution and traumatized American plantation owners while creating
a Black led nation.

Stonewall Uprising 10/30- 

In 1969 gay men and women finally fought back against
ongoing police harassment following a raid on the Stonewall, a New York City bar
and launched the world-wide gay rights movement. The film documents the first
historic battle for gay liberation.

Union Maids 11/13- 

Inspirational story of three women who took part in the labor
struggles of the 1930s that led to the creation of the CIO and mass unionization
of the nation's workers.

Let Freedom Sing 11/27-

How music inspired the civil rights movement. The documentary
shows how people sang to get courage in the face of grave danger. The story of the
civil rights movement as never told before, featuring artists such as Mahalia Jackson,
Pete Seeger, Curtis Mayfield and Public Enemy.

Sponsored by the Philadelphia Unemployment Project, Philadelphia AFL-CIO, Coalition
of Labor Union Women, Bread and Roses Community Fund, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists,
list in formation

For more information call 215-557-0822

Housing Alliance Legislative Briefing

This month's Legislative Briefing will take place Wednesday, September 12th from 11:00 am-Noon. The call in number is 866-740-1260 code: 2811137.

It's federal budget season - or is it? The fiscal year ends September 30, but the likelihood is that Congress will pass yet one more Continuing Resolution to continue funding past the elections and into 2013. That gives us more time to weigh in with our Senators and Representatives to convince them of the need for funding for affordable homes, community development, and ending homelessness.

This month's call features Kate Seif, Policy Outreach Coordinator at the National Alliance to End Homelessness, who will discuss the budget environment in Washington
and help us decipher the Budget Control Act, sequestration cuts, continuing resolutions,
and The Path to Prosperity ("Ryan Budget").

To register CLICK HERE.

Kids Count Infographic Challenge

The KIDS COUNT Infographic Challenge is a crowdsourced competition for young people and adults to use KIDS COUNT data to illustrate the story of America's children.

It's easy to enter:

1. Visit the KIDS COUNT Data Center and find national trends on topics like education, health and economic security, or data that offers insight into your state or community.

2. Turn the data into a compelling infographic or image. (For help or inspiration, check out and Pinterest.)

3. Upload your infographic (or video) to the Challenge platform. Then share it with your friends and family on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and ask them to vote for your entry.

The winners, chosen by your networks, will receive a new laptop decked out with
a graphics suite.

The Challenge launches on September 5, 2012 and voting will begin on October 1.
So don't wait. Enter today.

The KIDS COUNT Infographic Challenge.

Show off your creative sparks and win!

Ending Hunger Through Citizen Service

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 (9:30 am-4 pm)
Every year, millions of Americans volunteer their time to feed those in need by holding food drives and serving holiday meals.

What more can we do to fight hunger?

"Ending Hunger Through Citizen Service" aims to answer that question. This innovative conference is free for volunteers, nonprofits, businesses, government agencies, schools, religious congregations and community groups that want to:

  • Help low-income children enroll in vital food and nutrition programs
  • Improve food access and conduct nutrition education that meets community needs
  • Apply their professional skills to build the capacity of hunger organizations
  • Serve on a nonprofit board
  • Address the root causes of hunger through advocacy

Arch Street Friends Meeting House
320 Arch Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106


Michael A. Nutter Mayor, Philadelphia
Kevin Concannon USDA Under Secretary
Food, Nutrition & Consumer Services

Joel Berg Executive Director,
New York City
Coalition Against Hunger

Carey Morgan Executive Director,
Greater Philadelphia
Coalition Against Hunger

Ann Rindone Director, Cause & Foundation
ConAgra Foods
FREE. Lunch included.

See Conference Agenda

Contact the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger: 215-430-0555,

The Medical Loss Ratio

You may have heard by now, if insurance companies spend more than 80% of your premium dollars on things like advertising, CEO bonuses, or lobbying against reform it must refund you the difference!

It's all part of the new health care law and it's called the Medical Loss Ratio.The name comes from the terminology that the insurance companies use to refer to the money spent on medical care rather than profit.

However, insurance companies, after failing to repeal the entire act, are working towards dissembling it piece by piece.

Those interested in taking action can sign a petition to protect the medical loss ratio.

Via our friends at The Pennsylvania Health Access Network

"Back-to-School Blues"

It's back-to-school time and across the country, and parents are double checking their back-to-school supply list: Backpacks? Check. New crayons and pencils? Check. Notebooks? Check. Earned paid sick days? Not for nearly 40 million Americans.

Wait, back up, earned sick days are a back-to-school essential?

Absolutely! Let's face it: Kids share everything, especially germs, and especially in school. Moms and dads know this, and want to protect the health of all children. But when working parents are unable to earn paid sick days, they are faced with a difficult choice: Send their child to school sick or stay home with their child and risk losing a day's pay or possibly even their jobs.

Tell your members of Congress "Welcome back from August Recess - Now, it's time to help us prepare for the new school year by passing the Healthy Families Act so that all working parents have access to earned paid sick days."

Earned paid sick days aren't just a critical school supply; they're good for the national economy too. Access to earned paid sick days keeps people in the jobs they desperately need. Research shows that earned sick days save employers money because earned sick days far outweigh the costs of replacing workers including advertising for, interviewing, and training new employees. Additionally, presenteeism, when workers come to work sick, costs the national economy about $160 billion a year in lost productivity.
The Healthy Families Act would:

  • Allow workers in businesses with 15 or more employees to earn up to seven job protected paid sick days each year to be used to recover from their own illness, access preventive care, or provide care for a sick family member.
  • Allow workers who are victims of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault to use their paid sick days to recover or seek assistance related to an incident.
  • Include a simple method for calculating accrued sick time. Workers would earn a minimum of one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to 56 hours (seven days) per year, unless the employer selects a higher limit.
  • Allow employers to require certification if an employee uses more than three paid sick days in a row. For victims of domestic violence, the certification may be from a law enforcement officer or victim advocate.
  • Allow employers to continue using their existing policies, as long as they meet the minimums set forth in the Healthy Families Act (for time, types of use, and method of use).

From our friends at

New Polling Data From FRAC

New polling data (pdf) released today by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) show overwhelming majorities opposing SNAP cuts. The majorities are as strong as other polls in 2010 and early 2012, despite several intervening months of criticism of the program and false charges by conservative Members of Congress, conservative media outlets, and others.

In particular, when asked "[t]his year, Congress will consider cutting billions of dollars from the food stamp program in an effort to reduce federal spending. Do you favor cutting food assistance to low-income families and seniors, or do you think that is the wrong way to reduce government spending," 75 percent say it is the wrong way to reduce spending. That number was 77 percent in January 2012 and 71 percent in November 2010.

This poll comes on the same day as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released new data showing more than 50.1 million Americans lived in households struggling against hunger in 2011. Previously, in 2010, 48.8 million Americans were in food insecure households. The number of people in households "with very low food security" - households with the deepest struggles, regularly skipping meals, or cutting the amounts eaten below what is needed - also increased, rising from 16 million in 2010 to more than 16.8 million in 2011. These increases leave far too many hungry Americans, even while some in Congress propose billions in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps).

Other noteworthy findings in the USDA study were:
  • The percentage of children with very low food security declined from 2010 to 2011, while very low food security increased in households with no children and with elderly residents.
  • Arkansas joined Mississippi as the state with the highest food insecurity rate.
Seventy-nine percent of respondents to the FRAC poll support spending more (55 percent) federal money or about the same amount (24 percent) to address the problem of hunger, compared to only 17 percent who say the federal government should be spending less. Support for the SNAP program specifically and opposition to SNAP cuts is high among Democrats, Republicans, and Independents; higher among women than men; high in all major geographic regions; and high among all age groups, especially among those aged 18 to 34. The poll of 1,011 adults was conducted by Hart Research Associates from August 23-26, 2012.

Both the Senate and House Agriculture Committee versions of the Farm Bill contain cuts to SNAP. The Senate plan for the Farm Bill includes a cut of more than $4 billion over 10 years to the program, achieved largely by reducing SNAP benefits for an estimated 500,000 households by $90/month. The House Agriculture Committee Bill would make these same cuts plus end benefits totally for a minimum of 1.8 million people, cutting the program by $16 billion.

Visit FRAC's website at for ongoing analysis of the food insecurity numbers and for full polling results.

From our friends at FRAC

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Essential Health Benefits Sign-On Letter

PlumaAs the deadline approaches for Pennsylvania to make a decision regarding its Essential Health Benefits (EHB), Maternity Care Coalition, the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, and the Pennsylvania Community Providers Association are leading a workgroup to ensure an open, accountable, and consumer-responsive EHB selection process.

Last week, the EHB workgroup convened nearly 40 organizations for a strategy call to discuss the implementation of the EHB package in Pennsylvania. As an outcome of that meeting, the workgroup defined the principles found here.

If your organization would like to endorse these EHB principles, please send an email to or of PHAN by Friday, September 7th to sign on.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Free Prostate Screenings for National Prostate Health Month

For National Prostate Health Month, Crozer-Keystone Health Systems will offer free prostate screenings in Delaware County.
Crozer-Keystone Health Systems is offering free prostate screenings to men who are over 50 years old. Additionally, free screenings are available to men who are 40 years old if they are African American or have a family history of prostate cancer. To be eligibile for free screenings, participants cannot already see an urologist, have received a screening in the past year, or have a history of prostate cancer.
On Saturday, September 22, Crozer-Keystone will host the Men's Wellness Program at the Lake, which will include glucose, cholesteral, and prostate exams, in addition to a "Risk Factors for Cancer in Men" seminar. The event is free and registration is open on the Crozer-Keystone website.
Other screenings will be held:
  • September 10 from 5 to 7 PM at Delaware County Memorial Hospital
  • September 19 from 6 to 8 PM at Crozer-Chester Medical Center
  • September 20 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at Taylor Hospital
Register for free prostate screenings by calling 1-800-CK-HEALTH (1-800-254-3258).

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Join Us To Celebrate Our 34th Anniversary

PathWays PA is celebrating 34 years of service to the Greater Philadelphia community. Join us as we celebrate our mission and our 2012 trailblazers. The event will take place on Friday, November 2nd, 2012, from 6:30 to 10:30 pm at the Union League of Philadelphia's Lincoln Hall, 140 South Broad St, Philadelphia. Enjoy a live auction and silent auction! All proceeds raised at the event will help over 6,000 low-income
families in the Greater Philadelphia Region.

For more information on sponsorship and ads, contact Fran Franchi at or
610-543-5022 x205. Tickets may be purchased online at

National Disability Institute Free Webinar Series

Last year, National Disability Institute, with the support of Acorda Therapeutics, presented a free four-part Financial Wellness webinar series for individuals living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

This year, they've partnered with Acorda Therapeutics again to bring you another great Financial Wellness webinar series. National Disability Institute's Financial Wellness Series sponsored by Acorda Therapeutics is a FREE 6-part series that will address financial, tax and public benefits topics for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS), their families and care teams.

The webinar series will include six free 90-minute programs online, each beginning at 3pm ET on select Wednesdays through December 2012. Visit to learn more about each webinar and to register today!
  • September 5, 2012 - Being Money Smart
  • September 26, 2012 - Prolonging Work - Supports To Keep You On The Job
  • October 17, 2012 - Social Security Disability Insurance - The Impact of Work on Benefits
  • November 7, 2012 - Supplemental Security Income - The Impact of Work on Benefits
  • November 28, 2012 - Favorable Tax Provisions for Individuals with Disabilities
  • December 19, 2012 - Saving and Investing - For Workers and For Individuals on Public Benefits
If you or someone you care about is living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), be sure to share this info and sign up for one or all of these great webinars!

Tutoring Opportunities for Your School

The United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey is excited about the 2012-2013 school year and they want to partner with YOUR school!

The United Way knows that a large predictor of students’ success in academia is their ability to read and interpret information. Research shows that one of the most important factors in whether or not children learn to read is having consistent opportunities to practice with a caring adult. That’s why they are looking for one-on-one tutoring opportunities in schools throughout the region. United Way may be able to support these opportunities by providing volunteers and other resources.

The United Way recognizes that the budget cuts to our education infrastructure have been devastating to our schools so now, more than ever, they are stepping up to improve the lives and education of our communities—but they can’t do it without you!

If you would like to schedule a meeting to discuss what kinds of volunteer needs your school may have and how United Way can help fill them, please contact Syreeta.

Opportunity to Obtain Policy Analysis from the Harvard Kennedy School

Would you like a master's degree student at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) to analyze a key issue for your organization and to make recommendations for how to address that issue as well?

If so, HKS invites you to submit a proposal for a project for the Policy Analysis Exercise (PAE), the capstone project for students in the school's Master in Public Policy (MPP) program. The PAE is a public policy or management study completed for a client organization by our second-year MPP students under the guidance of Kennedy School faculty advisors. The PAE provides a unique opportunity for your organization to obtain significant policy analysis and recommendations on a problem or concern of yours. There is no cost to participate in the program, though clients are asked to cover students' incidental expenses when possible, including phone calls, photocopying and faxing, as well as travel costs, should the students need to visit your site for research and/or interviews. For more information on the program and to see examples of completed PAE’s, please visit the PAE website:

If you are interested in participating as a client, please send a proposal at your earliest convenience to: Please submit your proposal in plain text within an email or Word document and include the following information:
  • Your name, title, organization, and contact information, including mailing address, website, phone number, and email
  • Description of the goals and functions of your organization
  • A potential title for this project
  • A description of the issue you would like the student(s) to analyze. Two to three paragraphs would be a suitable length. If you wish to submit more than one project, please list them separately.
  • A brief explanation of how you expect to use the final product
  • Any additional comments
If you do not have a specific project in mind at this time but would be open to project ideas from our students, you can simply send a description of your organization and a statement of interest in working with HKS students.

HKS would also be happy to help you recruit Kennedy School students for either summer internships or full-time positions with your organization. Students often leverage a summer internship into a successful PAE client relationship. For more information, please see

Advocacy Opportunity and Training from National Safe Place

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on HHS funding marked up its fiscal year (FY) 2013 funding legislation on Wednesday, July 18. While they released some preliminary details of the legislation, details on the FY 2013 funding level for the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act program have not yet been released.

To support advocacy for Runaway and Homeless Youth Act 2012 appropriations, National Safe Place is hosting a free webinar: Advocacy in Action, on Thursday, September 6th, 2 pm Eastern, 1 pm Central, 12 noon Mountain and 11 am Pacific. Learn the ABC’s of advocacy--this webinar will cover the basics of advocating for your agency and the clients that you serve. The facilitator will be Matthew Hamilton-Kraft, Director of Youth Services, Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc., Jamestown, NY.


From our friends at National Safe Place

Poverty and Insurance Data Training Webinar

The new poverty, income, and health insurance Census data will be released on September 12, with more state and local data available on September 20. Has poverty risen to its highest level since the 1960's? (Many economists say yes.) Which parts of the country and which population groups have experienced the most poverty? Has the number of people without health insurance risen?

The Coalition on Human Needs' annual training webinar can't tell you the answers before the data are released, but they can show you how the find national and state data quickly -- fast enough so you can make same-day comments to the press. And with enough context and background so you can apply the findings to policy choices now and in the coming months.

You'll learn what to expect and the policy implications, and how to find what you need on the Census website. Moderator Ellen Teller, Director of Government Affairs at the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), will make sure we answer as many of your questions as possible. When so many big choices are confronting federal and state governments, from cuts to services to the survival of the health care law, you need to know how to use the new data! Registrants will be sent instructions for getting national, state, and local data, background about policy implications, and message tips. On the days the Census Bureau releases the data, you will receive state tables showing poverty rates and state health insurance figures.
So register now!

Show It: Voters Required to Have Acceptable State ID for General Election in November

Voters will be required to show an acceptable photo ID on Election Day. All photo IDs must contain an expiration date that is current, unless noted otherwise. Voter's names on their photo IDs do not need to exactly match their voter registration, but the names must substantially conform. Acceptable IDs include:
If you do not have one of these IDs, and require one for voting purposes, you may be entitled to get one FREE OF CHARGE at a PennDOT Driver License Center. To find the Driver License Center nearest you, and learn what supporting documentation you will need to get a photo ID visit PennDOT's Voter ID Website or call the Department of State's Voter ID Hotline at 1-877-VotesPA (868-3772).

NO ONE legally entitled to vote will be denied the right to do so. If you do not have a photo ID, or are indigent and unable to obtain one without payment of a fee, you may cast a provisional ballot, and will have six days to provide your photo ID and/or an affirmation to your county elections office to have your ballot count. If you have a religious objection to being photographed you can still vote by presenting a valid without-photo driver’s license or a valid without-photo ID card issued by PennDOT.

If you plan on voting by Absentee Ballot on the November 6, 2012 General Election, you will need to provide proof of identification.

The State of Working PA 2012

Entering Pennsylvania on I-86 westMost middle-class Pennsylvania families have seen their wages and income stagnate since 2000 even though productivity in the economy has grown, according to the Keystone Research Center’s annual State of Working Pennsylvania report.

Growth in the size of the overall economic pie could have supported rising living standards for all Pennsylvania workers, Keystone’s researchers wrote, but an outsized share of the benefits went to the top 1 percent of earners, preventing broad-based prosperity and slowing down the economic recovery. Neither the “lost decade” for working families since 2000 nor a recent increase in unemployment and the shortage of jobs in Pennsylvania occurred by accident. They were the result of poor policy choices that have been unfriendly to working families, the report concludes.

The State of Working Pennsylvania 2012 represents the Keystone Research Center’s deepest and most comprehensive recent look at the Pennsylvania economy and how it has performed for working and middle-class families. Their central findings are straightforward: The Pennsylvania economy is performing poorly from the perspective of middle- and low-income families—over the last year, the last decade, and the last third of a century. Although growth in productivity and the size of the overall economic pie have been sufficient to support rising living standards, wages and incomes for most families have stagnated—for those with full-time jobs as well as those who can’t find as much paid employment as they want.

Click here to read the full report.

Food Stamp Act Marks its 48th Anniversary

LjohnsonForty-eight years ago, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Food Stamp Act of 1964 into law, signaling the start of what we now know as food stamps. The law “[a]uthorized a food stamp program to permit low income households to receive ‘a greater share of the Nation's food abundance’.” Over the past 48 years, the program (which is now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP) has been a fundamental bulwark for the poorest and hungriest people in our nation.
  • SNAP helps the most vulnerable. The average SNAP household has an income of only 57 percent of the federal poverty level; and 84 percent of all benefits go to households with a child, senior, or disabled person. 93 percent of benefits go to households with incomes below the poverty line. This includes millions of working poor families.
  • SNAP lifts people out of poverty. SNAP lifted 3.9 million Americans above the poverty line in 2010, including 1.7 million children and 280,000 seniors.
  • SNAP has – for decades – enjoyed bipartisan support. Every bipartisan deficit group in 2010-2011 has insulated it from cuts, including the Simpson-Bowles and Domenici-Rivlin commissions; the Gang of Six; and the August 2011 deficit agreement. In his FY2012 and FY2013 budgets the President has included proposals to strengthen the program.
SNAP works. Please ask Congress to keep it strong.

Courtesy of our friends at the Food Research and Action Center

J-Roll Speaks Out Against Dating Violence - Will You?

PathWays PA and Women Against Abuse are excited that famous role models and celebrities -- including Philadelphia's own Jimmy Rollins -- have joined President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to denounce dating violence.

Watch them speak out against dating violence in this new public service announcement!

This clip is part of Vice President Biden's 1 is 2 Many campaign. Get involved and spread the word!

Key Facts:
  • People ages 18 and 19 experience the highest rates of stalking.
  • Women ages 20-24 experience the highest rates of dating and domestic violence.
  • 1 in 10 teens have been physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend in the past year.
Get Involved:
  • Advocate everyday. Send a message out on Facebook or Twitter to let your friends know that dating violence is common and difficult, and that there are resources out there to help. 
  • Plug the Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline (1-866-723-3014), which is an excellent first point of contact for anonymous, free counseling and safety planning. Start a discussion. Talk to your friends and family about dating violence. 
  • Learn about abuse and challenge common stereotypes about domestic violence. Be a role model in your own relationships.
From our friends at Women Against Abuse

Encourage Congress to Stand Up for Struggling Families

Members of Congress will face some big choices in the coming months. The upcoming round of negotiations will include decisions on: whether tax cuts for wealthy hosueholds will be allowed to expire; whether to halt across-the-board budget cuts scheduled to hit programs such as affordable housing and early childhood education in January; and whether to continue key expansions in the earned income and child tax credits that lifted 1.6 million people in working families out of poverty in 2011.

The Coalition on Human Needs composed a letter to Congress that details the consequences of congressional inaction. According to the letter, if Congress fails to stop across-the-board cuts:
  • 750,000 fewer infants, toddlers, and moms will get critical nutrition assistance.
  • More than 460,000 adults and youth will lose employment and training services, including 51,000 veterans.
  • 734,000 households will lose access to home heating and cooling assistance.
  • 1.8 million fewer low-income schoolchildren will get reading and math help.
Each of these numbers represents people whose potential we can’t afford to lose.
Please help educate members of Congress about the important value of these programs. If you represent an organization, you can sign the Coalition on Human Needs’ sign-on letter here to add your voice to the hundreds of organizations calling on Congress to embrace the following principles: Protect low-income and vulnerable people; promote job creation to strengthen the economy; increase revenues from fair sources; and  seek responsible savings by targeting wasteful spending in the Pentagon and in other areas that do not serve the public interest. If you’re an individual, contact your member of Congress directly and urge them to stand up for struggling families.

From our friends at Half in Ten and the Coalition on Human Needs