Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Food stamp rolls drop as some states end federally-funded benefits early

McClatchy reports:
Food-stamp enrollment in the U.S. is declining from record levels, in part because some states are ending benefits earlier than they have to.

Seven states, all led by Republicans, have decided this year to end waivers for some able-bodied recipients that were made available in the 2009 federal stimulus bill – even though the benefits are federally funded.

Enrollment in what’s formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is still nearly twice the level it was before the recession. But the most recent data, for May, showed 43.5 million people were receiving food stamps, down 9 percent from a 2012 peak and the fewest since 2010.

Much of the drop comes from an improving economy, but efforts to reduce enrollments among able-bodied adults are also accelerating the decline.

Under federal law, food stamp benefits are cut off after three months for adults under the age of 50 who don’t have dependents unless they find work or engage in a volunteer or job-training activity. The stimulus bill permitted states to waive that provision in areas with high unemployment.

How long can this last before someone calls for more food stamps.