Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "food stamps" ...

  • The New Food Economy and The Intercept: Amazon employees and the safety net

    As food stamps go online in the coming years, Amazon is poised to collect a large proportion of sales from the $70-billion program. Yet our investigation found that in at least five states, the company's own employees are disproportionately reliant on the program to feed their families. We framed these findings in contrast to the vast subsidies states and local governments provide the company in exchange for "good" jobs. Months before the conclusion of Amazon’s HQ2 search prompted mainstream outlets to wonder whether or not the company’s presence really benefits the communities that compete to host its operations, our reporting revealed that taxpayers subsidize Amazon's expansion every step of the way. It remains to be seen whether or not those investments pay off.
  • Growing Influence

    The passage of the 2014 Farm Bill was a two-year process that pitted farm subsidies against food stamps. The 2008 Farm Bill expired in 2012 and was set to be updated but easy passage was thwarted as Congress focused on the $17 billion in federal crop insurance payments issued to farmers that year due to a massive drought; meanwhile, lawmakers also focused on food stamp fraud. Growing Influence highlighted the bill’s impact on taxpayers by uncovering at least 600 companies that helped influence the trillion-dollar 2014 Farm Bill and the murky spending behind it between 2012 and the first quarter of 2014.
  • Strings Attached

    One of Tampa’s largest homeless charities, New Beginnings of Tampa, for years made money off its destitute residents through a legally questionable “work therapy” program. Homeless people -- including the mentally ill and addicted -- were required to work unpaid concessions shifts at professional sporting events and concerts, and in construction, telemarketing, and a bevy of other industries in exchange for shelter. While claiming to provide counseling to the homeless sent to the charity by local law enforcement, hospitals, and the courts, the charity employed no one clinically trained to counsel the mentally ill or addicted, and required residents to sign over food stamps, Social Security checks, and any other income. Many former residents said they worked there for months -- and should have earned more than they owed in rent -- but were never paid.
  • Stamping Out Fraud

    The investigation found records indicating that dozens of individuals who had been caught engaging in food stamp fraud and banned as vendors in the $75 billion-a-year program nonetheless remain in business across the country.
  • Native Americans Tribues Shield Parents from Child Support

    Many mothers in California, and around the country, can't get child support payments from Native American fathers or tribal casino employees. That's because tribes are sovereign nations and don't have to honor state or federal child support orders. Without the child support payments, many of the mothers survive on food stamps and welfare.
  • Their Crime, Your Dime

    Some of Washington state's costliest public assistance programs harbored a secret over the years. It went unnoticed as taxpayer-funded programs provided food stamps and cash welfare benefits ballooned following the economic crash. Many worthy recipients came forward to get help. So, too, did criminals who found they could cheat Washington's lax fraud prevention programs to the sum of millions of dollars.
  • "Their Crime, Your Dime"

    Following several tips on possible "government waste," and schemes that target Seattle taxpayers, KING-TV produced this series of three stories titled "Their Crime, Your Dime." The team exposed how merchants operated a "broad scheme" that allowed citizens to convert their food stamps into cash. Another story revealed how "welfare recipients" were spending millions of "taxpayer cash in the state's casinos."
  • A Girl's Life

    The single 7,500-word story chronicled the life and death of Acia Johnson, a South Boston girl who seemed to be doing everything right: getting good grades in school, becoming a standout basketball player with a chance at a scholarship to go to a good high school and taking care of her younger sister. That was until her house was set ablaze last April in what authorities said was a jealous rage by her mother's lover. Acia burned to death along with her three-year-old sister in her third-floor bedroom closet. Her mother stood, safe, on the ground with the family dog. Her father was in jail. It was the last in a long list of instances of neglect recounted in the story. Anyone could have saved her life--her parents, drug addicts and sometimes violent petty criminals who never managed to get straight' neighbors who knew about the violent family fights and often didn't call police; friends who did nothing though thought it unusual that Acia was left to care for her sister while their parents were out running thr streets; social workers who had declared Acia's parents unfit in 2003 and placed her in the custody of her grandmother but who never figured out that she was still living with her mother. They didn't figure it out even though they frequently visited Acia at her mother's house, including two days before the fire. They didn't figure it out even though her mother reported Acia was living with her when she applied for housing subsidies, food stamps and cash assistance. And they didn't figure it out even though her mother's house was listed as Acia's primary residence at her middle school.
  • Cashing Out

    Some local citizens have been using their food stamps to purchase large quantities of powdered baby formula at the super market, then selling it to local convenience stores for cash to get money to further their drug use. In addition, some convenience store owners were acting as middlemen for drug dealers, who use the powdered baby formula to stretch their supplies of cocaine and crystal meth. There is no provision in federal law governing such "second-hand" use of food stamps, and federal and state agencies interviewed for the story said they had never heard of anything like the story the reporters exposed.
  • Feeding Greed

    An undercover investigation by the KNXV team revealed food stamp fraud as a rampant problem. Retailers gave food stamp wielders cash-back, though that was specifically prohibited. An elaborate food stamps for money trade was also discovered.