Skip to Content
missouri food stamp work requirements

New Research Finds Food Stamp Work Requirements Have Changed Missouri for the Better

Naples, FL — One thing is certain: Welfare reform has changed Missouri for the better.

New research from the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) found that Missouri’s commonsense welfare reforms have moved thousands of able-bodied adults from welfare to work, preserved resources for the truly needy, saved taxpayers money, and put Missouri’s economy on a path to prosperity. 

In 2015, Missouri state lawmakers passed a number of significant reforms to the state’s welfare system, including legislation that eliminated the state’s food stamp work requirement waiver and reinstated work requirements in the program.

After the requirement went into effect in 2016, able-bodied adult food stamp enrollment fell by 85 percent. Wages more than doubled for those Missourians, far outvaluing their lost welfare benefits. Meanwhile, taxpayers are saving $89 million per year and freeing up resources for the truly needy. Across the board, these welfare reforms made Missourians better off overall than they were before.

Missouri stands as a model for other states on how work requirements for able-bodied adults in welfare can be a game changer.

 “Work requirements are changing Missourians’ lives for the better. After leaving food stamps, able-bodied adults found work and saw their incomes more than double,” said Jonathan Bain, FGA research fellow and the paper’s author. “Not only was it a big win for those trapped in dependency, it was also a victory for taxpayers. Work requirements are saving $89 million annually, freeing up resources for the truly needy.”


The Foundation for Government Accountability is a non-profit, multi-state think tank that specializes in health care, welfare, and work reform. To learn more, visit

At FGA, we don’t just talk about changing policy—we make it happen.

By partnering with FGA through a gift, you can create more policy change that returns America to a country where entrepreneurship thrives, personal responsibility is rewarded, and paychecks replace welfare checks.