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Convicted Drug Felons May Qualify for SNAP Benefits

The state of Missouri could soon opt-out of a federal law that bans convicted drug felons from receiving SNAP benefits.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The state of Missouri could soon opt-out of a federal law that bans convicted drug felons from receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

The new law would allow felons to receive food stamps if the state decides they don't need to be enrolled in a substance abuse program. The bill would not apply to those who have three or more drug felony convictions.

Felons would be eligible for food stamp benefits one year after release from custody. State funded programs like Second Harvest Community Food Bank say the ban is long overdue.

"It is a great victory. They've done their time and they've gotten out and they have come here and they need assistance and we have to tell them we're sorry we can't give you help getting food stamps," stated Christine Feuerbacher, director of programs for Second Harvest Community Food Bank.

If passed, the bill would go into effect in August. No other felony conviction bans clients from receiving food stamp assistance.

The legislation of SB680  was sponsored by Sen. Shalonn “Kiki” Curls, D-Kansas City.

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