Oklahoma House speaker scales back food stamp work requirement

BY MICHAEL MCNUTT AND ADAM KEMP

A measure that would have required able-bodied Oklahoma recipients of food stamps to perform at least 35 hours of work activities to receive food stamps is being scaled back.
But people receiving the benefits say lawmakers have the wrong perception about them.

“It sounds like they are trying to get rid of the lazy,” Chris Steele said. “In reality, most of these people can’t find a job for good reasons. There are some that try and take advantage of the system, but the majority really need it.”

Steele, 31, said Thursday he was just recently able to obtain a full-time job in customer service. When he was out of work for five months last year, he was able to provide for himself and his daughter, with whom he has visitation rights every other weekend, by getting $150 in food benefits a month.

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