Farm bill has Old Town impact

By Kasey Worst
Old Town Lansing Times staff writer

OLD TOWN LANSING – President Obama visited Michigan State University to sign a bill that impacts the Old Town community. A president in Lansing
While at MSU on Feb. 7, President Obama signed the Agricultural Act of 2014, which is more commonly known as the Farm Bill. In his speech prior to signing the bill the president said it in some ways resembled a “Swiss-army knife.” This means the bill covers funding and regulations for multiple purposes, from the environment to agriculture to food stamps. Farming and the environment
Andrew Sarpolis, an employee of the Sierra Club’s Old Town branch, said he  heard a lot of “positive responses” from farmers about the bill’s the crop insurance program.

Government actions affect many Americans

The American people will soon face the repercussions of recent governmental changes. From the Affordable Care Act to recent cuts in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, many people will find their lives changed, including folks who live within the two small Michigan towns of Bath and Dewitt. Affordable Health Care Act effects many

Tom Isanhart, auxiliary member at the Dewitt Veterans of Foreign Wars, says that the Affordable Health Care Act has not yet affected him. “It won’t affect me much, but it’ll effect everyone else,” said Isanhart. “Many will lose coverage because their employers would rather pay the fines than pay the costs of coverage.”

With food stamps being cut earlier this month, many are concerned by the loss of meals for families.

More farmers markets welcome food benefits

By BECKY MCKENDRY
Capital News Service
LANSING – Food stamp use at farmers markets is expanding – and soon it may be easier for markets to accept food stamps. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently requested suggestions to improve service and eligibility requirements for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, also known as SNAP or food benefits. And the East Lansing-based Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA) submitted comments calling for improvements in the way farmers markets seek SNAP eligibility. Among the suggestions: Simplify the paperwork for markets to apply for SNAP eligibility and provide more assistance with associated costs. “We have a lot of opportunities for growth here,” said Amanda Shreve, manager of programs and partnerships at MIFMA.