Governor Douglas Expands Food Assistance EligibilityUp to 30,000 More Vermont Households May be Eligible for BenefitsBurlington, Vt. (September 10, 2008) – To help struggling households and seniors on fixed incomes address rising fuel and food costs, Governor Jim Douglas and Lt. Governor Brian Dubie today unveiled a new initiative to expand Food Stamp Program (FSP) eligibility to as many as 30,000 additional households in Vermont.The plan is the most recent addition to the Governor’s Fuel and Food Partnership-a collaboration of public and private partners charged by the Governor with marshaling every available resource to help Vermonters address the rising cost of fuel and food. The partnership is co-chaired by Lt. Governor Dubie.”Vermonters are feeling the pressures of the national economic slowdown in many ways, and low-income Vermonters and seniors on a fixed income are particularly stressed by the high costs of transportation, home heating fuel, and food,” said Governor Jim Douglas. “Through the efforts of my Fuel and Food Partnership, my administration, the Legislature and our community partners are dedicated to ensuring that no Vermonter goes cold or hungry this winter, or any winter. This expansion of the Food Stamp Program will assure that more Vermont children and families receive financial assistance to purchase high quality, nutritious food during this challenging time.”Governor Douglas said the expansion of the FSP eligibility includes two key provisions: (1) raising the current household income limit of 130% of the federal poverty level (FPL) up to 185% FPL; and (2) eliminating the current asset test to determine eligibility for affected households. The current asset rules limit eligibility by imposing resource limits which serve as a disincentive for lower income households to build savings for emergencies, home improvements, or vehicle repairs – all of which support self-sufficiency.The federal income limit of 130 percent FPL makes many low-income Vermonters ineligible for food assistance, even though they may have high expenses. Raising the income test to 185 percent of FPL aligns the food stamp program gross income test with that of many other benefits programs such as Farm to Family, Reduced School Meals, Commodity Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children, and VHAP for parents and caretaker relatives with dependent children in their households.”We’re very excited about this proposal, which gives thousands more Vermont families access to food assistance,” said Department of Children and Families Commissioner Steve Dale. “At present, there are over 28,000 households with over 57,000 individuals receiving food stamps in Vermont. This expansion could allow up to 30,000 more households to access food stamps, or ancillary benefits such as telephone Lifeline and Link Up credits, and free school meals for their children.”During state fiscal year 2008, Vermont households received nearly $60 million in food stamp program benefits. The new program expansion could mean up to an additional $12 million per year in direct food assistance to low-income Vermont families, with an average benefit in the region of $90 per month.”This expansion is extremely important for the 19,000 children in Vermont who are hungry right now,” added Dorigen Keeney, Director of Public Policy and Research for the Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger, an organization which has advocated for this eligibility expansion. “Further, this expansion of the food stamp program will help alleviate the food crisis that many more children may otherwise face this winter.”The Governor and key Fuel and Food Partnership stakeholders will collaborate to create an outreach plan to connect with Vermonters who may be eligible for this expanded program and to work out details necessary to ensure the program’s success. The Department for Children and Families, which administers the federal FSP, plans to put the expanded program eligibility into effect on January 1, 2009.ABOUT THE FUEL AND FOOD PARTNERSHIPEvery Vermont family is facing the realities of soaring fuel costs-but Vermont is fighting back. That is why I launched a comprehensive and collaborative program-the Vermont Fuel and Food Partnership-to help Vermonters address increasing home heating, gasoline and food costs by marshalling every available resource in our state,” said Governor Douglas. “Solving these problems requires an effort that goes beyond government alone and we’re fortunate to have a strong network of community-based organizations and programs to help Vermonters when times get tough. Coupled with the programs and service available from local, state and federal governments and our other private and non-profit partners, we can address this challenge and succeed.”The Fuel and Food Partnership brings together all of the creativity, compassion, information and resources in Vermont to ensure that we make the most of every dollar and that no Vermonter is left in the cold. It will provide Vermonters, through a single entry, access to every available option and empowers them with the knowledge they need to lower their energy bills and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.”I established this task force, co-chaired by Lt. Governor Brian Dubie, to focus every effort and every resource Vermont can bring to bear to help manage the effects of higher energy costs on Vermont families,” the Governor added. “These are difficult times for working families, but Vermont has faced these kinds of challenges before, and is a national example of how deep community roots and a strong commitment to seeking new solutions can resolve even the most difficult challenges. I know that the strength and determination of Vermonters will lead us past these difficult times and leave us with a state that is stronger and more energy independent than ever before.”For more information, visit: http://helpforvt.org/(link is external)
A canal dredging work along Bang Krasan in Ayutthaya, Thailand, is nearing its completion and is set to be wrapped up by April 30, the Bangkok Post reports. The project, inspected by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon yesterday, is about 98% completed.Bang Krasan is a 2.2-kilometer canal in Ayutthaya’s Bang Pa-in district that channels some of the Chao Phraya’s water to Prem Prachakorn as it flows downstream towards Bangkok – slowing the massive run-off from the North which usually hits the capital when the rain begins to pick up.The project is not only aimed at preventing floods in the capital, as it will also improve water transportation along Bang Krasan and Prem Prachakon.
Chloë Grace Moretz tells of her brothers’ struggles with coming outChloë Grace Moretz weighs in on straight stars playing LGBTIs, makes crucial point‘Gay conversion’ movie wins top prize at Sundance Film FestivalRead the full article on Gaystarnews: :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/chloe-grace-moretz-docuseries-conversion-therapy/ Chloë Grace Moretz | Photo: YouTube/The Late Show with Stephen Colbert She revealed in an interview with PinkNews she sold a docuseries about the harmful practice to a ‘major company’.‘Doing research for this film, I was unaware of the modernity of the issue of gay conversion in America,’ she said. ‘It’s a silent epidemic that, now more than ever, especially under our administration, is growing in traction.’Moretz further said the movie ‘started something within me’ and led her to the docuseries.In it, she explained: ‘My mother, my brother and I are going to be going into these camps in America and exposing the realities [of gay conversion therapy].’The harmful realitiesBased on the novel of the same name by Emily M. Danforth, Miseducation focuses on Cameron. She’s a young teen girl sent to conversion camp after being caught with another girl on prom night.While more and more states in the US are banning the practice on minors, it still remains a terrifying reality for many.Conversion therapy is the act of trying to change someone’s sexuality via psychotherapy and/or spiritual and religious means. Today, many people — including this student from Florida, and another in New York — are sent to these camps against their wills.Miseducation is not the only conversion therapy movie coming out this fall. Boy, Erased, directed by Joel Edgerton, is based on a true story. It follows a teen boy at a camp after his parents send him there.It stars Lucas Hedges, who recently revealed he’s not totally straight, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, and singer Troye Sivan. Moretz has voiced her concerns with the film and its makers.The Miseducation of Cameron Post is currently out in theaters in the US.More from Gay Star NewsThe Miseducation of Cameron Post director Desiree Akhavan wants conversion therapy banned universallyREVIEW: Why Chloë Grace Moretz deserves an Oscar nod for The Miseducation of Cameron PostChloë Grace Moretz weighs in on straight stars playing LGBTIs, makes crucial pointGot a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . Actor Chloë Grace Moretz — who stars in the conversion therapy movie The Miseducation of Cameron Post — found motivation within the movie to take action herself. eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… GAYSTARNEWS-