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Trump administration restores SNAP program to its original intent

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In December 2019, the US Agriculture Department issued a news release stating that it had promulgated a regulation restoring what it called "the original intent of SNAP" SNAP is the nutrition program formerly known as the Food Stamp Program.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue stated in the release that the new rule is designed to help able-bodied SNAP recipients transition to self-sufficiency and employment capable of supporting them and their families.

According to Secretary Purdue, the new rule restores SNAP to what Congress originally had in mind when it created the food program: assistance through difficult times,  not a way of life.

Lest anyone view this change as some hard-hearted conservative political move by the Administration, Secretary Purdue pointed out that "Americans are generous people who believe that is is their responsibility to help their fellow citizens" and that in this "government can be a powerful force for good."

For historical perspective, Secretary Purdue also informed readers that when President Clinton signed the welfare reform bill in 1996 that law as drafted by Congress instituted a work requirement for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs).

Secretary Purdue underlined the current economic conditions, writing that "with a booming economy that has more jobs than workers to fill them and the lowest unemployed rate in 50 years"  it is clear that we need everyone who can work, to work.

To read the Department's release, visit

The final USDA rule promotes work for able-bodied adults between the ages of 18 and 49 without dependents and doesn't apply to children and their parents, those over 50 years of age, including the elderly, those with a disability, or pregnant women.

Secretary Purdue further expounds on the role that work plays in American daily life in his oped The dignity of work and the American dream  which was printed in the Arizona Daily Star.

The Agriculture Department oversees 15 nutrition programs of which SNAP is one.

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