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USDA wants ideas to get people off of food stamps

The Department of Agriculture wants you to submit your ideas.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture wants your ideas to get able-bodied people to transition off of their food stamp program.

Suggestions are being solicited from the public to promote "work and self-sufficiency among able-bodied adults participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and related services."

Beginning Feb. 23, the agency will be taking idea of the Federal Register's web site until April 9.

According to current federal law, able-bodied adults without dependents can receive SNAP benefits for three months within a 36-month timeframe, unless they are working at least part time, in which case they can receive exemptions depending on factors such as age, dependents, or unfitness for work.

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While state agencies can request a waiver based on levels of unemployment and job availability, some states have been abusing the waiver policy which some lawmakers believe has been stunting.

Potential changes are coming after the Feb 12 proposal by the Trump administration to cut SNAP funding by $17 billion in 2019.

Part of the budget proposal meant the establishment of what is being called "America's Harvest Box," where SNAP recipients who receive more than $90 a month through an electronic benefit (EBT) card , will get nonperishable food items -- such as shelf-stable milk, juice, cereal, pasta, peanut butter, beans, canned meats, canned fruit and canned vegetables -- in a box.

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