The number of people in South Carolina on food stamps is dropping from record highs, but a new report says part of the decline is because the state is ending the benefit e earlier than it has to for some residents.
Under federal law, food stamp benefits are cut off after three months for those under 50 who do not have dependents, unless they find work or engage in a volunteer or job-training activity. The idea is to ensure that able-bodied adults actively try to seek work while receiving the benefits. According to Bloomberg News, South Carolina was among those states who received a federal waiver from those obligations. But Gov. Nikki Haley has said the number of job training programs and a growing job market means that South Carolina no longer needs the waiver.
Enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program food stamps is still nearly twice its pre-recession size. But the most recent data in May showed 43.5 million people were receiving food stamps, down 9 percent from a 2012 peak and the fewest since Haley won election to a first term in 2010.
Nationwide, the number of people on food stamps, and spending both more than doubled from 2007 to 2012, as the combination of the recession, a slow recovery with high unemployment, and increased efforts to get those eligible into the program boosted rolls.