Food Assistance Recipients React to New Job Training Program - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Food Assistance Recipients React to New Job Training Program

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(Photo: MGN) (Photo: MGN)

MILFORD, Del. -- A new job training program is on the way to 10 states including Delaware.

Delaware is set to receive a federal grant from the Department of Agriculture to offer skills and job training programs for people on food assistance.

Two hundred million dollars will go to 10 states to help participants using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program find jobs and work toward self-sufficiency.

Jennifer Parnell of Milford knows how beneficial SNAP is to struggling families, including her own.

But once she and her husband found jobs that paid higher than the qualification threshold, they were disqualified from the program.

"We make too much to qualify for the EBT program, but we don't make enough to truly be able to pay for all of our food," said Parnell.

Since they've fallen back on hard times Parnell said her family could use the extra skills training if they ever qualified again.

"Absolutely. That's the whole point is to go out there and do it for yourself," she said.

But some people using food assistance, including William Brown of Milford, said they aren't trying to find real jobs anytime soon.

"I'm hanging. I do what I do to make money, so it's all good," said Brown, who added that he has been on food stamps all of his life.

But Brown, a former construction worker, also said if the program became available to him he would take advantage of the opportunity to learn better work skills.

David Pipher of Milford does not use public assistance. He said those who don't apply themselves in the workforce are the ones that ruin the system for everyone.

Pipher suggests the training program include ways to monitor who signs up and who doesn't make the effort.

"If they're going to offer jobs for people that are in this program and people refuse to take the job training then I feel that the services ought to be suspended or at least suspended until they complete the programs," said Pipher.

The USDA said it plans to work with all of its state partners to identify which strategies are the most effective to reach SNAP's diverse participants.

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