How This State Massively Cut Food Stamp Recipients After This Policy Change

The number of food stamp recipients plummeted by 85% in thirteen Alabama counties—after a work requirement was reinstated.

Due to high levels of unemployment during the recession, those thirteen counties decided back in 2011 to loosen restrictions on who could receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits—better known as “food stamps.”

The recession-era exemption officially expired on January 1, 2017. And the results were staggering.

On January 1, 2017, as the benefits expired, 5,538 able-bodied adults aged 18-50 without dependents received food stamps in those thirteen counties.

By May 1—four months after the work requirement was re-implemented—just 831 adults did, a drop of about 85%.

Considering each recipient receives about $126 in benefits per month, Alabama will save about $10 million over a full calendar year in those thirteen counties alone, just by forcing food stamp recipients to hold down a job.

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