Obama Signs $956 Billion Farm Bill


On Friday at Michigan State University, President Obama signed the farm bill. The bill is slated to be for a whopping $956 billion.

According to an article by Daniel Sheehan of the Allentown Morning Call, this bill will trim $8 billion over 10 years from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as SNAP. $8 billion seems like chump change compared to the $40 billion over 10 years that some Republicans had called for.

Sheehan’s article notes that the Lehigh Valley will be hit very hard by this new bill. Two Lehigh Valley Congressman, Republican Charlie Dent and Democrat Matt Cartwright, have conflicting views on how the bill will affect their areas.  Dent voted yes, while Cartwright voted no.

“I did not come to Congress to kick the most vulnerable Americans off of food assistance,” said Cartwright on his Facebook page.

Dent gave a positive outlook towards the bill, saying that “states will no longer be able to ‘game’ the system by linking the Low Income Heating Assistance Program to eligibility for food stamps.”

In his article titled “Big Farm-a Gets a Raise in 2014 Farm Bill,” Willy Blackmore of takepart.com speaks more about this.

“The new cuts will hit hardest in the states that give poor people a nominal subsidy to heat their homes that automatically qualifies them for additional SNAP benefits.”

The bill will be in effect for the next five years. Many people seem to be skeptical about it, but only time will tell.


Urban Food: Germantown

Philadelphia is a city that is well-known for its food. There’s no better example of that than in the Germantown section of North Philadelphia, primarily around La Salle University. I hit the streets of Germantown to snap some pictures of the popular eateries for the locals.

Explorers Den, located on the corner of Chew and Olney Avenues, is a popular spot for the students of La Salle who are in the mood for a late-night snack or something better tasting than the dining halls.

Explorers Den 2

Right down the block from Explorers Den lies Happy Fortune, known for their delicious Chinese food. This spot is located on the corner of Elkins and Olney Avenues and is also frequently visited by La Salle students.

Happy Fortune 2


A very well-known company has just recently moved into the Germantown area. I’m talking of course about the Philly Pretzel Factory recently built on the corner of Broad and Olney. This establishment sells pretzels in all different types, such as pizza pretzels, pretzel sausages and my personal favorite, the pretzel hot dog.

Pretzel Factory 2

Then there’s Bizinis, a small restaurant on the corner of Lindley and Ogontz Avenues. It is attractive to La Salle students who live on South Campus, primarily in St. Neumann Hall or St. Basil Court. This low key spot is best known for its seafood.


That was a quick peek at some of the food establishments in the Germantown area. There are plenty of other spots to hit when you want a quick meal for a cheap price. Just take a stroll down Olney Avenue and you will sure be able to find a suitable place to fill up.