New Ohio food stamp requirement draws mixed reactions from resid - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

New Ohio food stamp requirement draws mixed reactions from residents

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Changes could be coming to people who qualify for food stamps in the Tri-State area, and people have mixed feelings about it.

Ohio plans to limit food stamps for 130,000 adults, according to the Associated Press.  The AP reports that the state plans to require people who receive food stamps to spend at least 20 hours a week working, training for a job, or volunteering.

It won't apply to people with children or who live in one of the 16 high-unemployment counties.

We asked people in West Virginia if they'd support a similar measure here.

"I agree, because some people who are on drugs are using it for the wrong doings, and I think you should show some initiative by working," said Shawn Myers.

David Harris said he also supports the measure, as long as it does not impact children. He said kids are the ones who hurt when parents lose their state benefits.  However, when it comes to drug testing, Harris thinks it shouldn't be a clear-cut decision.

"If you've got crack cocaine, heroin, people shooting up dope and all of that, then take their food stamps. But, if you're talking about marijuana, put them in treatment, a 30-day treatment," he said.

Gene Ranson is a retired police officer who said he has seen his fair share of food stamp fraud. He said people who abuse the system take away from those who truly need the help.

"There are people out there who legitimately need assistance; a hand out and a help up," he said.

Healthy food has also been a food stamp stipulation lawmakers have considered in the past. Ranson said he would be in favor of a ban on junk food.

"They should be able to buy healthy food, not maybe go in and buy a T-bone steak," he said.

No word yet if similar changes will come to West Virginia.  The legislative session starts in January.

Close to two million Ohioans receive food stamps. People who fail to meet the new requirements will lose their benefits on January 1, according to the AP.

The exempt counties are Adams, Brown, Clinton, Coshocton, Highland, Huron, Jefferson, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingun, Noble, Ottawa, Perry, Pike, and Scioto.