States to test ways to send food stamp recipients to work - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

States to test ways to send food stamp recipients to work

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Ten states will test new ways to get food stamp recipients back to work, using Agriculture Department grants.

The grants come as Congress explores ways to cut the program, which cost $74 billion last year - twice what it cost in 2008. Some Republican lawmakers have proposed stricter work requirements as a way to do that.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is announcing the assistance today in Georgia. In that state, participants would use an online tool developed by the state to create individualized work plans.

Vilsack also previewed the announcement yesterday in Kentucky, where the state will work with local employers and teach skills for in-demand jobs, like food service.

California will test child care programs for people who need work training as part of a family-centered approach.

Other states receiving the grants are Delaware, Kansas, Illinois, Mississippi, Vermont, Virginia and Washington state.

Vilsack says 35 states applied for the $200 million in grants, which were part of a wide-ranging farm bill that became law last year.

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