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Dozens in Olmsted County will be affected by new food stamp restrictions

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- At the direction of the Trump administration the United States Department of Agriculture announced a new rule that could affect more than 600,000 thousand people, including dozens in Olmsted County.

The rule is aimed at 18 to 49-year-olds who are able to work and don't have dependents. The plan is to get them on a path of self-sufficiency.

Two organizations will be working together to help these people adjust.

"Making food accessible to people is really important," stated Corrine Erickson with Olmsted County Director of Family Support and Assistance.

Olmsted County Director of Family Support and Assistance Corrine Erickson.

She says the county serves 10,000 people who are on food stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, of them about 170 folks will be impacted.

"The new rule that are coming out are really in one way talking about ABODS, Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents," Erickson said. "The requirement is for them to be working and that will require them to show proof of that work."

There will be some who don't have a job right now, and with the new requirement asking for proof of employment, another organization is will help out.

"I expect we will see an increase in foot traffic," stated Wanda Jensen, The Workforce Development, Inc Operations Director says they'll be busy in the months to come. She also says the partnership between both organizations is crucial.

"That partnerships between the county is how we connect the people between what they're getting for benefits and how they can move forward so they don't need the benefits," Jensen said.

The Workforce Development, Inc Operations Director Wanda Jensen.

The connection involves the computer-lined room at the Workforce Development center, where people can find jobs and eventually a way off benefits. "The goal would be that no one would need public assistance or food support. Wouldn't that be an interesting world to live in," Jensen smiled.

Two programs assisting people to achieve a life where food insecurity is no longer a problem. "In order to work at a job you need to be healthy so we see food benefits as being something that supports people with their employment," Erickson added.

The change takes effect April 1st, 2020. It does not apply to children and their parents, those over 50 or those with disabilities.

For more information on the how to apply or frequently asked questions, click here.

Ubah Ali

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