The Center for Hunger-Free Communities

Solutions Based on Science and the Human Experience

Looking back at this picture, I realized how much I hated to take the T, but my son always seemed to enjoy the ride. He looked like he didn’t have a care in the world. It’s hard for me to do a lot with my son, because I’m always busy, and I barely see him. He goes to school, and I’m working. We don’t really have time in the middle, except for bedtime… I’m telling myself it’s only temporary, because I’m trying to get him stable.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

TANF provides cash assistance grants to very low-income children, their parents or caretakers, and pregnant women.  TANF grant amounts are extremely low in Pennsylvania - a family of 3 receives just $403 per month.  In most cases, individuals can only receive TANF for 60 months (5 years) over the course of their lifetime.

Current Issue

As part of the state budget cuts for fiscal year 2012, the Department of Public Welfare must cut $400 million from the TANF program.  DPW's Secretary was given unprecedented authority to make cuts to benefit programs, leaving both the TANF grant amount and the length of time families can receive TANF benefits vulnerable to cuts.


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