Hit & Run

Amish Refusal to Accept Food Stamps Makes Welfare Workers Look Bad

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This story from the Cleveland Plain Dealer is a couple of months old, but it's a fascinating example of how government tries to insist on "helping" people who are not so evidently in need of its "help." The Ohio Office of Family Stability is demanding that local welfare workers somehow get Amish people to sign up for food stamps. Why? Just because they are eligible on the basis of income. By refusing to sign up, the Amish are lowering the local food stamp participation rates which makes the agency look bad.

The Food Stamp Progam touts itself as "the first line of defense against hunger." The Amish may have low incomes but is there any evidence that the Plain People are suffering from hunger? Besides the self-reliant Amish generally reject all government handouts.

At least one local welfare worker, Dan Jackson from Holmes County, gets it. He told the Plain Dealer:  "We have a job to do. But it's not to harass people to accept a service they've chosen not to."