Gov. Nikki Haley announced on Monday a new initiative that will require employment for up to 100,000 people in South Carolina who receive food stamps.
The initiative, called SNAP 2 WORK, is the first-ever mandatory job requirement for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients who are not disabled and do not have dependent children living with them, Haley wrote on her Facebook page.
Currently, the program is active in 15 counties. The South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) is seeking to expand the program to the state's remaining 31 counties during 2013 utilizing the limited federal funding available.
Under an initiative with the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce and new contracts with local businesses and nonprofits, including Goodwill Industries, DSS is working to help SNAP recipients find and retain jobs, said Haley.
The program is currently active in the following counties: Anderson, Berkeley, Beaufort, Charleston, Cherokee, Darlington, Dorchester, Georgetown, Greenwood, Greenville, Lancaster, Lexington, Orangeburg, Richland, and Sumter.
DSS officials say they don't look at the program as a requirement, but rather an opportunity. At least 100,000 South Carolina food stamp recipients are eligible to be participants in the program that was rolled out in April 2012.