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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Up to 1 Million Americans Will Lose Their Food Stamps This Year -- Here's Why!

Man holding up EBT/ food stamps card

The federal government established the food stamp program in 1939. The country was in The Great Depression, and food stamps were made available to low-income families that enabled many to be able to eat. Today, the program is known as SNAP, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The poor still need help buying food, but now the government is going to take away that benefit from up to one million Americans. Why?

What is happening?

Over the years, SNAP has made many changes to its program. The latest change, however, is going to affect up to one million Americans. The new requirement for SNAP recipients who do not have children or a disability is that they have to find a job within three months of receiving the benefit and work an average of 20 hours a week, or their benefits will be suspended.

21 states already on-board

The reason is that the economy is improving and more people are returning to work. The mandate is actually 20 years old, but it was put on the back burner and suspended as the country suffered high unemployment and a mortgage crisis. Now, 21 states so far are reinstating the mandate. According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, this move is estimated to affect tens of thousands this month and up to 1 million this year. Seventeen other states reinstated the mandate two years ago.

Solving one problem while causing another

The requirement has spurred hot debates over the work requirement. While unemployment seems to be down, many feel the numbers are not accurately portraying the real situation with the unemployed. Many have simply given up after searching in vain for a job. Their numbers are great. While it is true that there are some who take advantage of the benefits by not working or even looking for a job, the work requirement ends up punishing many others who are honest.

What do you think? Should the government reinstate the work requirement for everyone?

Read more at www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/04/01/why-tens-of-thousands-of-americas-poorest-people-just-lost-their-food-stamps/
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