Alabama Sees 85% Drop In Food Stamp Participation After Work Requirements Reinstated

Tyler Durden's picture

13 Alabama counties experienced some 'shocking' results, or maybe not depending on your natural level of cycism, when they decided to once again require able-bodied food stamp recipients, without dependents, to be employed and/or engaged in a job-training program in order to participate in the program for more than 3 months over a 3-year period.

As background, Alabama, like many states, lifted their work/training requirements associated with food stamp benefits after the great recession.  That said, starting Jan. 1, 2017 the last of Alabama's 13 counties reinstated those requirements and they promptly experienced an 85% decline in taxpayer-funded food subsidies.  Per

Thirteen previously exempted Alabama counties saw an 85 percent drop in food stamp participation after work requirements were put in place on Jan. 1, according to the Alabama Department of Human Resources.


During the economic downturn of 2011-2013, several states - including Alabama - waived the SNAP work requirements in response to high unemployment. It was reinstituted for 54 counties on Jan. 1, 2016 and for the remaining 13 on Jan. 1, 2017. As of April 2017, the highest jobless rate among the 13 previously excluded counties was in Wilcox County, which reported a state-high unemployment rate of 11.7 percent, down more than 11 percentage points from the county's jobless rate for the same month of 2011.


As of Jan. 1, 2017, there were 13,663 able-bodied adults without dependents receiving food stamps statewide. That number dropped to 7,483 by May 1, 2017. Among the 13 counties, there were 5,538 adults ages 18-50 without dependents receiving food stamps as of Jan. 1, 2017. That number dropped to 831 - a decline of about 85 percent - by May 1, 2017.

Food Stamps

Statewide, the number of able-bodied adults receiving food stamps in Alabama fell by almost 35,000 since Jan. 1, 2016.  Meanwhile, with each recipient receiving about $126 a month in benefits, that equates to over $50 million in annual savings for taxpayers based on just the state of Alabama alone. 

But sure, there is no fraud in the entitlement programs.

* * *

For those who missed it, below is a look back at a prior post which detailed exactly how Americans are spending the nearly $7 billion they receive through the SNAP program each year.

A new study just released by the USDA, offers a very detailed look at exactly how participants in the "Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program" (SNAP, aka Food Stamps) spend their taxpayer-funded subsidies.  Unfortunately for taxpayers, the amount of money spent on soft drinks and other unnecessary junk foods/drinks is fairly staggering.  But, we suppose it's a nice taxpayer funded subsidy for the soda score one for Warren Buffett and the Coca Cola lobbyists.

Per the study, nearly $360mm, or 5.4% of the $6.6BN of food expenditures made by SNAP recipients, is spent on soft drinks alone.  In fact, soft drinks represent the single largest "commodity" purchased by SNAP participants with $100mm more spent on sodas than milk and $150mm more than beef.

Soft drinks were the top commodity bought by food stamp recipients shopping at outlets run by a single U.S. grocery retailer.


That is according to a new study released by the Food and Nutrition Service, the federal agency responsible for running the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as the food stamp program.


By contrast, milk was the top commodity bought from the same retailer by customers not on food stamps.


In calendar year 2011, according to the study, food stamp recipients spent approximately $357,700,000 buying soft drinks from an enterprise the study reveals only as “a leading U.S. grocery retailer.”


That was more than they spent on any other “food” commodity—including milk ($253,700,000), ground beef ($201,000,000), “bag snacks” ($199,300,000) or “candy-packaged” ($96,200,000), which also ranked among the top purchases.



Even worse, when we added up all of the commodities that would typically be considered "junk food" (i.e. soft drinks, candy, cakes, energy drinks, etc.), we found that roughly $950mm, or just over 14% of the aggregate $6.6BN of food expenditures made by SNAP recipients, is spent on unnecessary, unhealthy products.



It's a good thing democrats re-branded Food Stamps as the "Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program"....otherwise we would have confused it for a blatant waste of taxpayer money on sodas and energy drinks.

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hedgeless_horseman's picture

 Many Americans, like Mr. Muzik, clearly believe they and their Mamma are entitled to free food, housing, public utilities, transportation, healthcare, education, and, "that shit."  For a black twenty-something like Mr. Muzik, I imagine that much of his life has actually been that way.  The thought simply may not occur to him that either he, or his mother, should work at a job to provide things like food for the family, rather than rely on others to provide for them, as my livestock rely on me for food, shelter, veterinary care, etc.  As someone that has worked non-government jobs since before I was 14, and been forced by threat of imprisonment to give more than 20% of my earnings to pay for Mother Muzik's Fruit Loops, I am tempted to harbor deep resentments against blacks.

Creepy_Azz_Crackaah's picture


Mak'n people wurk n shit.  Mo fo.

hedgeless_horseman's picture

However, if my head is clear, I will sometimes hear the voice of Murry Rothbard.   He reminds me that by doing for these people what they could and should be doing for themselves, our government is intentionally preventing these, "descendants of slaves," from ever being truly free.  As Lyndon Johnson supposedly said, "I'll have those niggers voting Democratic for 200 years."


Fortunately, with the help of Rothbard's teachings, any resentments I might hold against my neighbor can be transformed into disdain for The State, and, if I am thinking right, this allows me to instead love my neighbor, which is a much healthier choice for me, and for my soul.  After all, Jesus never commanded us to love thy government.  Said another way, in a slightly more modern translation, "Don't hate da playa, hate da game."

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

$126/month x 12 =$1512.  52 weeks x 40 hours of work per week = 2080.  $1512, divided by 2080 = .73 cents per hour.  Its not fucking hard to earn .73 cents per hour to take care of your own fat lazy ass.  Don't ask me for that handout.  Get off your fat lazy ass, and get a job.  Take care of your own fat lazy ass.

DownWithYogaPants's picture

DeNegrious say "ah dindu nuffins"

To which kharma replies "Yes DeNegrious.  Yes Indeed"

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Are you speaking in Ebonics DWYP??  How about this:  use the word "income" in a sentence....

I be in bed whid da HOE, and INCOME my WIFE!!

atomp's picture

I think it's "muh", now. You have to get with the program, old timer.

TahoeBilly2012's picture

Why did will kill all the hard working, self sufficient Native Americans off, just to populate the place with fat slobs...

jcaz's picture

Gots to have my purple drank, otherwise I be rioting in da street, yo.....

Plus it's easier to re-sell......

Took Red Pill's picture

But if I have to work, when am I supposed to play League of Legends?

"League of Legends has dominated the online market since at least 2012. Four years ago, the massively popular game had about 12 million people a day, and about 32 million unique players every month. The game has now grown to an impressive 100 million players a month who play the game for more than one billion hours. "

MalteseFalcon's picture

These programs are about the Democratic party buying votes to stay in power and serve their corporate masters.

That's it.

There's nothing else to it.

JRobby's picture



Oblivio is gone now. Cut all those phones off too.

Déjà view's picture

Trail Of Tears...back to Tejas...MexiCali...

Si Señor!

Son of Loki's picture

The EBT strategy can be to convert to islamism and declare refugees status.....

UmbilicalMosqueSweeper's picture

My doc told me I's impotent, so I went out an bought me a tux at da thrift sto. Ifn I's impotent, den I's gonna look impotent!

SmokeyBlonde's picture

Shit, dude!  That requires getting out of bed and cleaning up and showing up at a job at a specified time EVERY F'N DAY!  And dat be racisss!

Eyes Opened's picture

Would YOU work for 73c/hour ??

Ironically, if EVERYONE was "unemployed" & on foodstamps, Gov Inc. wouldn't have the money to spend on THEIR free shit !! No outrageous military spend, no foreign policy "adventures" etc....

Personally, I believe in working, having been self-employed for 25 years, I know what its like to earn my keep. I also know what its like to see Gov Inc. dip their hand into MY pocket & steal my money.

"Poor" people (regardless of colour) are simply playing the system in the same way the rich play the system. Yet the outrage is towards the meagre pittance TPTB pay out to these people ??

What incentive do these people have to work, given that they have very low expectations of life to begin with ?? The American Dream ? It never existed for a large swathe of the population & gittin by day to day is their norm.

And judging them to be immoral for cheating & yes, even criminal behaviour, is to fail to see the world thru their eyes... I mean HRC et al commit REAL crimes & are immune from justice ?? 

Lets get real folks, its the "middle class" who still believe & engage with the system who are the real fools here, a system designed to drain them of every penny they earn through taxes/fines/penalties/regulations/asset forfeiture/bank foreclosures.... I could go on & on.

Where do you think the blame REALLY lies ?? I think it lies with those who accept & support a corrupt system & do nothing to change it.

Is that YOU ??


Don in Odessa's picture

What do you suggest we do? I imagine most who read Zero Hedge are voters. Clearly that doesn't work. What are you doing???

Tall Tom's picture




He is suppoting that WHORING BITCH CUNT that sits on the throne at Fuckingham Palace.

Eyes Opened's picture

Don, I don't have the answers, but asking the question is the first step to a solution, personally I come from a completely different culture & tradition. 

My comments are merely to instigate thought & reflection on the reasons WHY the situation is as it is....

I wish u well ....

Tall Tom's picture




So you are a British troll? ( ...and then you wonder what gave ya away...)

Tall Tom's picture

You can junk it all that you want.


It will not change the truth.


But you wrote something that gave it away. So I will continuallyl shred you for your pretentious fucking twat..


I will do to you as I did to FlakFRAU. I hate pretense and I despise the people practicing it.

Wrenching Away's picture

Was it the "colour" that gave it away? haha

Eyes Opened's picture

5 years here & THIS is what you've got ?? 

You think you are sooo smart but you are so WRONG ...

For your information, BITCH, I am Irish & I am NO troll..

I have as much right to my opinion as you, maybe if u didn't jump to conclusions & ASSume u knew who u were talking to, u might not look & sound like the fool u are.

I come from a country which was under the Imperial jackboot & we FUCKED the brits outta here .... your Imperial ambitions will receive the same treatment because they are UNJUST !! 

Might is not always right asshole, take your arrogant & superior 'tude elsewhere, try taking on a REAL opponent & git back to me...

stitch-rock's picture

One can not fathom the depths of ruin the children who grow up in Ghetto have to face. I have come to the cynical revelation MOST people who have negative and judgemental attitudes based on race have never gotten off the highway on the way to the suburbs, let alone actually lived and experienced life in a Ghetto.
Most of the kids I knew in North and West Philly when I worked in the studio music industry there, had no parents b the age of 12. There were 3 places parents would be: in jail, dead or addict on the street.
Nature is the hardware - the chemical computer of our minds.
Nurture is the software that makes it run.
The environment of the Ghetto tells all its children, in no uncertain terms, I want you dead.
One of my clients one time told me the story when he was 12:
he went to play on the stoop.
There was a dicegame on the sidewalk a few feet away that went bad.
Someone got shot in the head and this 12 year old boy was covered in brains...playing on his stoop.

Now think of your childhood.
Now think of your mom: cooking you dinner.
your dad out in the yard playing baseball in a cozy safe little neighborhood. or what the fuck ever entitled little world that protected your childhood.

Racial issue in their entirety (as well as gender, ethnic, religious, etc) are all designed to separate us as a human people.
Then we are much more easy to control as a whole.
Fix the 'money' and the people will heal themselves.

JRev's picture

The drug trade is eugenics - grown by brown people in foreign lands, sold to brown people here, managed by the CIA and multinational banks.

Food stamps are eugenics - shove 'em with poison and keep 'em from the pride of self-reliance so the only thing they have left to do is sell the drugs you ship in.

This was self-explanatory on old ZeroHedge, now we've got these well-meaning but geopolitically retarded Alt-Right halfwits in our midst who "don't believe in conspiracies lol" unless it has to do with Hillary Clinton. And even then, most stare back at you with glazed eyes when you mention Mena, AK. 


stitch-rock's picture

No, the drug trade is run by TBTF banks like HSBC.
If you did your history (see charter of HSBC and the Opium wars) you would actually know what you said is implicitly wrong. Also look at opium output before and after the invasion of Afghanistan. There are still the plantation owners and then field hands. Not much in between.
I do agree the issue of that blackmarket industry is participated across 'party' lines. Mena to Iran-Contra...
'Money', itself, is apolitical in its influence:
it corrupts all for profits sake.

NidStyles's picture

Alt-Right halfwits? So you're here telling me a group that exists to expose the Jewish origin of all the shit you just described are half-wits because you think you know what they all think....

Eyes Opened's picture


Thank you for your insights, personally I believe it is not racial inequality or financial inequality or gender inequality ..... the common denominator here is INEQUALITY !! Solve that & u solve the problem...

Rapada's picture

There will always be inequality, as long as there is freedom, and it is evil to force equality. Man uses his volition to make choices, with lots of different outcomes for everyone. Go talk to the communists about equality. Doesn't work. Give me freedom.

Bad Goy's picture

What a crock of shit.  You're ignoring tens of thousands of years of history to say that all they need is to have 'money fixed'.

stitch-rock's picture

No, for thousands of years, the 'money' was the crux of control, also held up by religion until recent times.
The concept of a hierarchical society and control mechanisms seems too big a concept for this commentator.

Dancing Disraeli's picture

'African Americans' have an average IQ of 85, (bumped up from the 70 avg IQ of their  Bantu forebears by a 20%-25% Caucasian admixture).

Poor impulse control and elevated testosterone, coupled with limited future-time orientation, explains their collective lot.

Feel free to peruse 'Negroes in Negroland' online, free.  It is a collection of first-person eyewitness accounts of what the earliest European explorers observed in Africa.

No, we are NOT "all the same" (tm).

stitch-rock's picture

you are right but also wrong.
The concept is the theory of multiple intelligence.
Gardner is much more credible then you.

Dancing Disraeli's picture

There is NOTHING in your link that refutes my assertions.

stitch-rock's picture

Because, obviously, you do not posses an intelligence
that can extrapolate meaning except as to reaffirm your confirmation biases.

UmbilicalMosqueSweeper's picture does genetics and survival of the fittest to you.

stitch-rock's picture

Being scientific, while being a shit flinging monkey, does not a human make.

Wild Swings's picture

LOL! Boo-fucking hoo.

All blacks grow up poor, on the corner, seeing dicegames and blown-out brains on their faces.

All whites grow up with a loving 2-parent family that cooks and plays catch.

Get real, homie.

Let's suppose that you were correct, though. Humans have a choice. Wallow in misery, blame everyone else and ax da white devil for a handout, or open your stupid fucking eyes and try to grow as a person. Meh.

stitch-rock's picture

Thats interesting you assumed my client was black:
My client was white who lived in the Ghetto that I Mentioned.
Also, I made no mention of race in the opposite example I gave.

That speaks volumes to you.

Daisy Duke's picture

Actually you totally brought up the race issue in several places of your original email... I upvoted you because I agree with the spirit of what you are saying, however I would point out that you are conflating poverty with race as well as habitat (you describe an urban environment), rather than socioeconomic background of the family. I would argue that in 2017 race is far less relevant to one's socioeconomic status in the US than in, say, the 1950s; that is, race can no longer be a viable excuse for one's poverty. 

But maybe this varies by where you live. I am a life-long resident of the southern US, and proud of it. I am white and grew up very lower middle-class. I worked my ass off and got an education in order to provide a solidly middle class existance for my family. My suburban neighbors are black, white, hispanic, etc. and we hold similar values as evidenced by outward manifestations (cleanliness and care of our children, maintenence of our homes and yards, etc). Many of my children's playmates are mixed race, and for that matter my kids have seen high -achievers of all races. They have also seen very low achievers of all races (including some heroin addicts in our own extended family). In short, my kids understand that race and poverty do not go hand in hand, and that life is far more complicated than that.

I can appreciate your sympathy for the despairs of poverty, however please do not let one's skin color blind you to reality. Poverty is not limited to inner city blacks; it hits very hard among all colors of the rural population of my home state Tennessee as well. The ghetto exists in the mountains of eastern KY as well as inner city Philly.

stitch-rock's picture

Thank you for the eloquent and thoughtful response.
I agree the 'Ghetto' is not a racial thing.
It is a socio-economic thing.

I never mentioned race once, except in context of the correlation I have experienced between 'racial' commentators and their inexperience with any environment but their own, and the concept of societal control mechanism.
Please elaborate exactly how you extrapolated racial comments in my original post.

CNONC's picture

Racial issue in their entirety (as well as gender, ethnic, religious, etc) are all designed to separate us as a human people.

Interesting that you should use that story as an example of a "racial issue" and then deny it was racial in origin. 

stitch-rock's picture

This is a miscontextualization.
It is either unintentional in its ignorance
or intentional in its malignance.
Either or, the comment has no actual point except it would seem to try and discredit me on some hypocitical-moral ground.

1) you are reaching
2) you have no point, but do have a trivial purpose.

stitch-rock's picture

I never heard of Darwin.
Who's that?

(sarc off)

CJgipper's picture

Both ends of the system are living off me, the guy losing over 1/2 his income to them.  Why can't I hate both classes of moochers equally?

Eyes Opened's picture

Cj... dont hate the players... hate the game...