Federal law requires that able-bodied adults (without kids) work or attend job training for 20 hours a week to be part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps.
However, that rule can and is waived during times of economic downturn. Almost every state issued a waiver after Wall Street crashed the U.S. economy in 2008.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) recently announced that his state would be ending food stamps for 65,000 people (after three months) unless they get jobs or enlist in job training for at least 20 hours a week.
Indiana State Rep. Gail Riecken (D) says the state doesn't have enough jobs or job training for 65,000 people.
"I think it's an easy out to say that people should go back to work after three months," Riecken told the Indy Star. "It doesn't really get to the root of the problem."
However, Governor Pence defended cutting food stamps for the poor this morning during an interview on Fox News, noted RawStory.com (video below).
“I’m someone that believes there’s nothing more ennobling to a person than a job,” Governor Pence stated. “And to make sure that able-bodied adults without dependents at home know that here in the state of Indiana, we want to partner with them in their success.”
“You know, it’s the old story,” added Governor Pence. “Give someone a fish, and they’ll eat for a day. Teach them to fish, they’ll eat for a lifetime. I think this is an idea whose time has come here in the state of Indiana.”
Earlier this year, Governor Pence, who is a Christian, expressed his support in repealing Obamacare and ending traditional Medicaid for the poor, noted CBN.
According to a new study by Feeding Indiana’s Hungry and Feeding America, 1 in 6 Indiana residents (1.1 million people) currently depend on food pantries and meal programs.
"When coming to decisions between food and medicine or medical care, 45 percent of our client households are choosing every month whether to pay for their medication or buy the foods that they need," Feeding Indiana's Hungry executive director Emily Weikert Bryant told Indiana News Service. "That's a significant challenge to a number of clients that we serve."
"What is interesting is that we are seeing that a number of clients are working, and a number of our clients have been working, and I think that's indicative of the economy that we've seen since the data was recorded for the study in 2009," added Bryant.