More than 30,000 Pennsylvanians lost their food stamps during the past year because they failed to meet work requirements, according to new state figures.
Pennlive.com reported that 22 of Pennsylvania's 67 counties had a decrease of 50 percent or more in participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP, between March 2016 and March 2017. The data refers only to able-bodied adults without dependents and does not cover children, seniors, people working for themselves or able-bodied adults with dependents.
Eleven counties, including Bucks, Chester and Montgomery saw 70-plus-percent decreases. Two saw 80-percent decreases.
The good and bad news for Philadelphia is that the county saw just a 4-percent drop in food stamp recipients, in large part because the unemployment rate is higher here and the federal work requirements haven't kicked in. Work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents that were waived during the recession are starting to kick back in elsewhere as unemployment rates drop.
Across the state, 90,336 able-bodied adults without dependents Pennsylvanians got food stamps in March 2017. The year prior, that number was 120,477. That March, about one-third of Pennsylvania's food stamp recipients were in Philadelphia, where 43,491 people received the benefit. This March, Philadelphia's 41,634 food stamp recipients made up 46 percent of the state's total.
In the suburban counties: