Wednesday, 8 March 2006

Food stamp limit kicks in April 1

by Damon Boughamer
Public Radio Capitol News, serving Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, Penna. (PRCN, 8 March 2006) -- Food pantries in Pennsylvania are being told to brace for a wave of new clients at the end of the month.

It’s because the state Department of Public Welfare will enforce a limit to food stamp benefits for certain adults of three months every three years.

During 2004 and 2005, the state had no time limit for this category of Pennsylvanians, defined as able-bodied adults, aged 18 to 50, without dependents.

But the agency started a new clock January First, and those who received assistance in January, February and March will be cut off April First.

Barry Friesen with the Pennsylvania Hunger Action Center says those who stand to lose benefits do have another option.

"If they can get into a work-and-training program through their county welfare department, they certainly should try to do that. People who are in an employment training program – this rule does not apply to them," Friesen said.

People living in high-unemployment areas are exempt from the cutoff. This includes Philadelphia, but not Allegheny County or Pittsburgh.


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