Indianapolis, In. — The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) today announced the agency will split March benefit payments to eligible Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) clients. Recipients will see half of their March benefit amount added to their Hoosier Works cards on Feb. 22 and the other half on their regularly scheduled March date, according to an alphabetical schedule. They do not need to take any action.Indiana issued February benefits early on Jan. 16, 2019, due to the partial federal government shutdown that occurred earlier this year. The one-time benefit deposit schedule being used for March benefits will help reduce the gap in benefit payments to eligible SNAP clients that could otherwise be 60 days or more.
FNB is contributing in developingSouth Africa’s future football stars. FNB’s Derek Carstens, right, handingover an R18-million cheque to Safa. Legends Kalusha Bwalya and LucasRadebe are programme ambassadors.(Images: Bongani Nkosi)MEDIA CONTACTS• Mphilo DlaminiCorporate CommunicationsFNB+27 11 371 8381Bongani NkosiFirst National Bank, one of South Africa’s four major banks, will invest R40-million (US$5.8-million) in developing the country’s young footballers over the next few years.The bank will sponsor the national under-17 boys and girls teams, as well as school football tournaments. It’s already built four pitches in as many communities, and another will be finished in 2011.FNB’s investment was announced to the media on 9 December in Nasrec, Johannesburg. It is part of the bank’s legacy programme following the recent 2010 Fifa World Cup, into which it pumped R30-million ($4.3-million).“We’re happy to announce this, especially at a time when I can assure you that things are not easy in corporate South Africa,” said FNB brand director Derek Carstens.The government and the South African Football Association (Safa) praised the bank for its pledge.The biggest chunk of the sponsorship will go to the under 17-boys and girls teams, respectively known as Amajimbos and Abantwana. FNB has already channelled R18-million ($2.6-million) into these teams, which are eyeing spots in the next Fifa World Cups for their age group.“The key objective we’ve set ourselves is that Amajimbos and Abantwana qualify for the World Cup in 2012 and 2013,” Carstens said.FNB has been involved with the Amajimbos for a number of years now, but the Abantwana sponsorship is a new venture. “We look at male and female sports as equally important,” he added.Bringing the Beautiful Game back to schoolsThe FNB Festivals are tipped to become the next biggest fad in school football. A total of 162 schools will participate in the inaugural event in 2011, after which it will become an annual fixture.Twenty schools will battle it out in the Lucas Radebe Tribute Festival, which is the Soweto leg of the competition in south-west Johannesburg. St Davids Marist in Sandton, also in Johannesburg, will see 42 schools slugging it out for glory.Grey College in Bloemfontein will host 20 schools, while a further 32 schools will use Durban’s Kloof High School as their battlefield. Victoria Park and Benoni High, schools located in Port Elizabeth and east of Johannesburg respectively, will each host 16 school teams.The schools competition is viewed as a great way to get pupils back into the swing of the Beautiful Game. Local football experts agree that the sport has long lost its ground in both urban and rural schools, which has impacted negatively on talent development. This is blamed for the current under-performance of national squads.“Our football in schools, I must say, is dead,” said Serame Letsoaka, Safa’s technical director. “This is where we tapped in for talent.“Thank you FNB for creating this opportunity to go back to schools.”R15-million on turfsThe bank channelled about R15-million ($2.2-million) into the development of football pitches before the 2010 Fifa World Cup. The pitches were created in Thohoyandou in Limpopo, Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal, Mthatha in the Eastern Cape and George in the Western Cape.A pitch in Kimberley, Northern Cape, will be completed by June in 2011, the bank said.Community leagues will play their matches here, and may also host touring international junior teams. “We’re looking at teams like Boca Juniors of Argentina to bring their under-17s to play at the turfs,” said Carstens.Carstens said they have partnered with local municipalities in the areas to maintain the grounds.Coaches will be groomed for all the venues. Letsoaka, a coach himself, is excited about coaching clinics that will be run at the pitches. “We have been saying, let’s produce developmental coaches. These are the areas where we’ll develop coaches,” he said.Lucas Radebe, the former Bafana and Leeds United captain, has been appointed the ambassador of FNB’s legacy programme and he’ll oversee activities on the pitches.Intensifying Soccer Classic ClashesThe bank’s Soccer Classic Clashes competition, which was launched in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, in 2007, will also be extended. Starting in 2011, there will be far more venues and matches than in previous years, according to FNB.Minister of Sports and Recreation Fikile Mbalula said: “This legacy programme will impact on thousands of lives. A number of Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana (national male and female teams) will be drawn from this programme.”
The Meghalaya government on Monday took exception to its Punjab counterpart providing funds for the benefit of people residing in Punjabi Lane here without informing the State government.The issue was raised in the Assembly by Urban Affairs Department Minister Hamlet Dohling. He informed the House that the Punjab government had sanctioned ₹1.5 lakh for treatment of 10 Sikh widows in 2015. It had also sanctioned ₹10 lakh for the construction of the Guru Nanak School at Bara Bazar in 2016, he added. “I am surprised that the Punjab government had sanctioned funds directly to the East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner without informing the State government,” he said while replying to a supplementary question raised by Congress MLA from East Shillong Ampareen Lyngdoh.Shilling had witnessed large-scale violence in June last year following clashes between Sikhs living in Punjabi Lane and local tribals. NCP MLA Saleng A. Sangma attacked the government saying it reflected its irresponsible attitude