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Alabama removes 42K able-bodied people from food stamp programs

Due to a rule change, Alabama has reduced the number of people on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps, by 42,457 over the past eighteen months. Back in January of 2016, 49,940 able-bodied Alabamians without registered dependents were on SNAP, but that number is now down to 7,483, according to statistics from the Alabama Department of Human Resources.

The rule change that has caused the decline in SNAP recipients has to do with the number of Alabama counties no longer exempt from federal work requirements. Greene, Hale, Perry, Dallas, Lowndes, Wilcox, Monroe, Conecuh, Clarke, Washington, Choctaw, Sumter, and Barbour counties previously did not have to abide by federal work requirement guidelines due to severe unemployment.

Those SNAP recipients with a dependent or a certified disability have not been affected by the change.

17 percent of Alabamians received food stamps in 2016, and each household received an average of $123 per month. Rules allow for SNAP recipients to get three months worth of benefits in a 36-month time frame.

SNAP began under President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939 under the name of the Food Stamp Program. In 2016, the Federal Government spent $70.9 billion on the program, which supplied aid to 44.2 million Americans.

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