Senior Policy Analyst
More than half a million of the poorest Americans will lose a critical tool to help keep food on the table this year, we explain in our new video. That’s because a three-month limit on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) for jobless adults aged 18-49 who aren’t disabled or raising minor children is returning in 23 states for the first time since the Great Recession.
The time limit applies to those who can’t find a job that offers 20 hours a week of work or a qualifying job training program, regardless of how hard they’re looking for work or whether job training programs are available.
SNAP is a critical stepping stone for millions of Americans, reducing hunger and helping them to make ends meet. Those subject to the time limit — including part-time workers, veterans, homeless adults, jobless workers who don’t qualify for unemployment insurance, and people actively looking for work but who can’t find a job — are very poor and typically qualify for no other assistance.
Cutting off food assistance to poor unemployed and underemployed workers doesn’t help them to find a job or secure more hours of work. No one should lose food assistance because they can’t find a full-time job.