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USDA looking for ways to make food stamp (SNAP) users become independent

This news story was published on February 25, 2018.
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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday announced that it is looking for innovative ideas to promote work and self-sufficiency among able-bodied adults participating in the department’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The public is invited to provide input through a notice in the Federal Register. Comments can be submitted on the web through the Federal Register. USDA intends to use the input received to find improvements to SNAP policy and related services that can best assist SNAP participants return to self-sufficiency.

“Long-term dependency has never been part of the American dream,” said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. “USDA’s goal is to move individuals and families from SNAP back to the workforce as the best long-term solution to poverty. Everyone who receives SNAP deserves an opportunity to become self-sufficient and build a productive, independent life.”

Federal law limits the amount of time an able-bodied adult without dependents (ABAWD) can receive SNAP benefits to three months in a 36-month period, unless the individual is working and/or participating in a work program half-time or more, or participating in workfare. The law exempts individuals from the time limit for several reasons, including age, unfitness for work, or having a dependent child. The law also provides state agencies with flexibility to request a waiver of this time limit if unemployment is high or the area does not have a sufficient number of jobs to provide employment.

Help the poor become independent, feds say

“Too many states have asked to waive work requirements, abdicating their responsibility to move participants to self-sufficiency. Past decisions may have been the easy short-term choice, but USDA policies must change if they contribute to a long-term failure for many SNAP participants and their families,” Perdue said.

The President’s Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Proposal, released on Feb. 12, proposes to limit waivers of the time limit for ABAWDs to counties with 10 percent unemployment over 12 months.

“The SNAP safety net must be there for those unable to work due to disability or another legitimate reason,” Perdue said. “But for the able-bodied, we must reduce barriers to work, and hold both individuals and states accountable for participants getting and keeping jobs.”

The public is now invited to submit comments or ideas on helping able-bodied SNAP participants find work and become self-sufficient through The comment period will be open through April 9, 2018.

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service administers 15 nutrition assistance programs. In addition to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, these programs include Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, the National School Lunch Program, and the Summer Food Service Program which together comprise America’s nutrition safety net. For more information, visit

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12 Responses to USDA looking for ways to make food stamp (SNAP) users become independent

  1. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    February 26, 2018 at 4:18 am

    I was at the old easter grocery one day and a nice looking couple in line, she had a frindged Harley coat on and he had a HD beanie. rang up groceries and she handed the clerk food stamps. then they rang up the beer and cigs and she whipped out a roll of 20’s that would choke a horse. I watched as they left and went out and got into a new car. ya they really needed them, probably grandmas food stamps

    • faux Reply Report comment

      February 26, 2018 at 8:27 am

      how long did it take you to make up that story

  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    February 26, 2018 at 4:15 am

    time limits, only get food stamps for a family of 4, drug test before getting them each month, stamp amount set at what your wages are, no wages no stamps except to single mothers. I could go on and on., I knew a guy that had a wife and 2 kids, worked 3 jobs and got food stamps, that is unreal

  3. Honest Abe Reply Report comment

    February 26, 2018 at 12:09 am

    Time limits, with strict enforcement. Helping out those who need it is an important role of the government. Monitoring and regulating it so people don’t abuse it, is an equally important duty of the government.

  4. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    February 25, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    This is a good idea especially for the single parent families milking off the system by shacking up. I know several households making 15-20 an hour who claim they eat separately..what a joke!! Some of them are even on multiple programs like wic, medicaid, low income housing and energy etc.

  5. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    February 25, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    Cut their benefits and they will find a job to earn their way.

  6. Elephant > Donkey Reply Report comment

    February 25, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    Pay them a menial wage to sweep gutters, paint shelter houses. They can pick up cigarette butts after Friday Night Live and pick up pop and beer cans for redemption. Put ’em in yellow t-shirts that say SNAP USER on the back. They need to work to earn their keep like the rest of us.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      February 25, 2018 at 7:31 pm

      Put you in a yellow T-shirt that says dumbass.
      Ya, humiliate people huh?
      You are a freakin idiot.

      • ???? Reply Report comment

        February 25, 2018 at 7:46 pm

        Now, that’s calling the kettle black, Mike

      • Elephant > Donkey Reply Report comment

        February 25, 2018 at 9:51 pm

        They won’t be humiliated! You think they care a bit when they whip out the plastic SNAP card at the grocery store in front of everyone? Doubt it! Hell, they probably the ones throwing all the cig butts on the ground anyway! Buying smokes and pop …………… but somehow they broke! #MAGA

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          February 26, 2018 at 8:02 am

          I know some people (from Chitcago) who drink and smoke all day long. Neither works or want to work. They are on food stamps, medicaid, housing assistance and every other freebee. They have four kids but no pride. The kids are just another way to get more welfare. They are not alone.

          • Anonymous

            February 27, 2018 at 5:32 am

            Careful now..people don’t like to hear the truth, especially when you ‘may’ be talking about the YOU KNOW WHOs