|
|
|
McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Unemployed workers should be eligible for food stamps

  • The American culture always has valued work.
    Work brings prosperity to the individuals and families and provides for the basics of food, shelter and clothing.
    Work keeps the fire of the American economic engine running.
    However, America also has a social conscience.
    • email print
      Comment
  • The American culture always has valued work.
    Work brings prosperity to the individuals and families and provides for the basics of food, shelter and clothing.
    Work keeps the fire of the American economic engine running.
    However, America also has a social conscience.
    To this end, the American government established programs for people who have gaps in their employment or who could not work because of age or disability.
    Among these are unemployment benefits, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as SNAP or food stamps.
    A federal waiver that allowed about 20,000 unemployed Kansas residents to receive food assistance will be allowed to expire at the end of the month, according to the Associated Press. The 2009 stimulus bill allowed the waiver to the SNAP program requirement that able-bodied adults with no dependents work for at least 20 hours per week to qualify for food stamps after three months of unemployment.
    This program change will not affect individuals with children or the disabled nor will it affect unemployed individuals who enter a federally approved job training program within three months of becoming unemployed.
    Excluding families from this rule keeps in place an important protection for the nation’s youth.
    The program’s efforts to encourage work should be noted as well as the drop in unemployment in the state since 2009. McPherson County has an unemployment rate that is running about 4 percent, which is considered low.
    However, is the cutting off assistance after three months meeting the American standard for social conscience? Allowing this waiver to expire is saying to our fellow Americans, “Work now or go hungry.”
    DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore said in a news release,
    “We know that employment is the most effective way to escape poverty.”
    It is almost impossible to pull yourself out of poverty or find a job if you’re hungry.
    Eliminating the waiver is likely to put a greater burden on community resources, which will have to absorb the needs of the up to 20,000 unemployed workers who will be affected.
    No one should have to starve in the land of prosperity.
    As long as unemployed workers are actively seeking work, they should be able to access food stamps.
    This program needs better balance between encouraging individuals to add fuel to economic engine  and satisfy their own basic needs through work with compassion for those who are struggling to realize the American dream.

        calendar