There’s a push to move food stamp recipients into jobs. Critics say the benefit program, now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), discourages people from seeking jobs. The Obama administration is announcing grants to ten states to identify the best ways to get recipients back to work.
Forty-six million Americans currently receive SNAP. The USDA, which oversees the program, hopes that the demonstration projects will help recipients take advantage of the improving economy. The projects vary widely. Vermont will focus on hard-to-employ individuals, including the homeless and convicted criminals. Mississippi will offer a four-week job readiness program. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack hopes that the program will help identify models that work, and share them around the nation.