When the Great Recession swept across the United States between 2008 and 2009, several states waived work requirements for recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP. As the economy has rebounded, some states and counties have reinstated their program, including eight counties in Kentucky.
The Associated Press reported via Argus Press that food stamp recipients in Fayette, Jefferson, Bullitt, Daviess, Henderson, Hardin, Warren, and McCracken counties are now required to work part-time, be enrolled in an educational program, or volunteer in order to keep their benefits. The change affects able-bodied adults between the ages of 18 and 50, meaning more than 17,000 will have to do one of those three options for an average of 20 hours a week.
The change was made based on unemployment rates, but 95 other counties have yet to reinstate the requirements, Ginny Carrington, director of the cabinet’s Division of Family Support, told the Lexington Herald Leader.
Each beneficiary receives up to $194 every month and the Department for Community Based Services said they will help those affected decide which course of action to take, according to Lexington Herald Leader.
As of December, more than 207,000 people in the state of Kentucky receive SNAP benefits, but single, able-bodied adults made up less than 10 percent of that number.