ALABAMA — The Alabama Department of Human Services said Wednesday that it will phase out the state’s food stamps program beginning at the end of the month.
The program, which was in place from December 2016 through June 2017, helped Alabama families pay for the essentials of life and kept families out of poverty, said agency spokeswoman Bethany Johnson.
“We appreciate the hard work and dedication of our Food Stamp recipients,” Johnson said in a statement.
“This program has made a huge difference in many families’ lives, and the time has come to phase it out.
It will allow us to better focus our resources on those who truly need it most.”
The Food Stamp Program was created in the late 1940s and has served approximately 1.2 million people in the state.
The state has the second largest amount of food stamp recipients in the nation.
The state’s current allotment of food stamps is $1,095 per month for a family of four.
In 2018, the total amount of money available to households in the program was $1.7 billion.
The $1 billion allotment is more than half the total $5.2 billion it received from Congress for food assistance last year.
The announcement came a day after Gov.
Kay Ivey announced a new initiative that would end the program for a limited period.
She said she would end food stamp programs for people on welfare at the beginning of December and for people with severe financial hardships at the same time.
The agency is also ending benefits for those who are eligible for food stamps but are not receiving them because of a job loss or other reason.
The AL.com Healthline team has been following the Alabama food stamp rollout.
Follow @aljazeerafood on Twitter for the latest updates.