The Shrinking SNAP - CBS46 News


The Shrinking SNAP

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Joyce Oscar

Former WSB TV

Joyce Oscar Joyce Oscar

Isn’t it amazing?  If you add a work requirement to the food stamp program a miracle happens, lots of people find jobs and get off food stamps. 

In Alabama, the state Department of Human Resources is reporting an 85 percent drop in food stamp participation since the addition of a work requirement was put in place January 1st. 

During the 2011-2013 economic downturn, many states, including Alabama waived the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP work requirements because of high unemployment. The work requirement was added back to 54 counties in January 2016, but because of a high jobless rate in 13 counties, the work requirement was not added back until this year. 

The state is now reporting the end of the exemption has dramatically cut the number of SNAP participants. This is not counting the people who are disabled or who have dependents and are receiving SNAP benefits. These are thousands of able-bodied adults without dependents. 

Several years ago, SNAP was among the fastest growing welfare entitlement programs, reaching an unprecedented level of 48 million people.  The program quadrupled in spending since 2000 costing 80 billion dollars to taxpayers in 2013. 

42 states had waived the work requirement two years ago but now those waivers are expiring.  The requirement calls for food stamp recipients to work, volunteer or take job-training classes for at least 20 hours a week. 

The assistance was never meant to be a way of life hand out, only a temporary hand up for those truly in need, while some people are complaining that the government will no longer provide aid to seemingly able-bodied people who are down on their luck.  All of us should be celebrating our neighbors and friends who are finding jobs and making a way for themselves.
As Benjamin Franklin once said, doing good for the poor is not making it easy for them to be in poverty but driving people out of poverty. 


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