ORANGE COUNTY, NC (January 12, 2016)—The Orange County Department of Social Services is announcing policy changes as of January 1, 2016, for Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) recipients.

Clients who are considered Able-Bodied Adults without Dependent Children (ABAWDs) will be required to participate in 20 hours a week of qualifying activities in order to continue to receive FNS.  Those who do not participate 20 hours a week, will be unable to receive FNS benefits for up to 36 months.

An ABAWD is someone who is between 18 and 49 years of age, who is able to work, and who does not live with child/children under the age of 18 who is/are included in the FNS case.  Qualifying activities will be paid employment, verified volunteer work, qualifying work experience placements, and/or work-related training opportunities.

Four information sessions will be held to explain the policy, discuss ways to meet the work requirements, and answer questions about the policy changes.  

An employment specialist will be available at the information sessions to assess each client’s situation and determine a tentative plan of action that will allow recipients to continue receiving FNS benefits. 

The information sessions are as follows:

Tuesday, January 19, from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Orange County DSS, 113 Mayo Street in Hillsborough

Thursday, January 21, from 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
IFC Community Kitchen, 100 W. Rosemary Street in Chapel Hill

Wednesday, January 27, from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Orange County DSS, 113 Mayo Street in Hillsborough

Thursday, January 28, from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Southern Human Services,  2501 Homestead Road in Chapel Hill

For clients who are unable to attend the information sessions, please call Angela Bradshaw at 919.245.2853 for FNS eligibility questions and Kristin Miskow at 919.245.2894 for employment and training questions.