Thursday, April 23, 2015
FOOD PANTRIES BRACING FOR LONGER LINES
“Around the country, food pantry directors are girding for an influx of hungry adults” as a three-month limit on SNAP benefits for unemployed, childless adults returns in many areas, the New York Times reports. During the recession, most states took advantage of a provision that allows them to waive this limit when unemployment is persistently high. Now, as the economy improves, states must decide whether they should continue these waivers. Eight states qualified for waivers in 2015 but decided to use them only in parts of the state or not at all. USDA estimates that 23 more states will cease to qualify for statewide waivers in 2016. States are not required to help the affected people find jobs or provide a place in a job-training program that would allow them to keep benefits. Very few do so, leaving it to the participants to find enough work or training to keep their benefits. According to USDA, the households of able-bodied adults receiving SNAP in 2013 had average gross incomes of $308 per month — or less than 30% of the federal poverty guideline.
Source: New York Times, 4/11/15, Ending SNAP Waivers