Food stamp rolls drop dramatically in states that restore work requirements

New figures show the number of people on food stamps has declined dramatically in states that have recently reinstated work requirements.

Alabama, where recipients were required to either find a job or participate in work training to keep their benefits, saw an amazing 85 percent drop in the number of those on the food stamp rolls in 2017, Fox News reported.  The number on the program plummeted from 5,538 to 831 between Jan. 1 and the beginning of May across 13 counties, according to Al.com

The work requirements of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program were waived as part of the 2009 economic stimulus plan under former President Obama, resulting in a spike in the number of recipients  from 1.9 million in 2008 to 3.9 million in 2010, Fox News reported.

Food stamp enrollment continued to rise at a record level, peaking in 2013 with nearly 48 million.

States like Alabama have begun implementing the work requirement again, in an effort to get eligible able-bodied adults without children off of the program and into the workforce again.

“This is one of the differences between Red states and Blue states,” columnist Star Parker said on “Fox and Friends” Tuesday. “When you have people in leadership that believe and are confident that people can be responsible for their choices, they make laws that then encourage them to be responsible.”

In Georgia, where similar changes were made in the program, there was a 58 percent decline in the number of adults receiving benefits in three participating counties by the end of the first three months.  There was another 62 percent drop in 21 additional counties after the work requirement was reinstated, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Welfare was never intended to be a one-way handout, but a program based on the idea of reciprocity,” Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector, said. “Those who receive benefits from the government should be required to work or participate in work-training as a condition.”

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah have introduced a bill that would place time limits on SNAP participation and would require recipients to participate in “work activation” initiatives in order to receive benefits.

“We should be incentivizing work, not providing a disincentive to find a job, which is a good thing both for the taxpayer as well as for the beneficiary,” Jordan told Fox News.

Parker was critical of some companies, like Amazon, which is trying to “take advantage” of the marketplace by offering discounts to people on food stamps. “Whose money is it?” she asked, noting that taxpayers work hard to pay for Amazon’s services “out of their own pocket.”

“What we are looking forward to in this new administration is draining the swamp so there are none of these companies coming in and smooching off the government as well,” Parker said.

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Frieda Powers

Senior Staff Writer
[email protected]

Originally from New York, Powers graduated from New York University and eventually made her way to sunny South Florida where she has been writing for the BizPacReview team since 2015.
Frieda Powers

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