Do Amish Get Food Stamps (Why Amish People Are Refusing Food Stamps)?

In theology school, I got interested in the Amish people. I spent a summer among them in Ohio and learned much about their culture and relationship with the government. Last week, one of my students wanted to know why the Amish in her town refused food stamps. She noticed that although most people rushed to sign up, the Amish went about their business and didn’t even show interest. I took the opportunity to share my experience living among the Amish and what I learned through research. We had a fascinating discussion around the question, “Do Amish get food stamps?”

The Amish don’t get food stamps because they choose not to. Food stamps are available to low-income families. However, attempts to get the Amish to sign up have been unsuccessful. The Amish emphasize self-sufficiency and community. As such, they don’t have social security or medical insurance and won’t accept food stamps. If disaster strikes one of them, the community comes together to help.

So, join me in delving deeper into the culture and beliefs of the Amish surrounding money and government assistance. I’ll explore why they’re reluctant to accept food stamps and what they believe about money and debt.

Why won’t the Amish accept food stamps?

Do Amish Get Food Stamps?
Why won’t the Amish accept food stamps? Image source: Freepik

The Amish refuse food stamps as it contradicts their belief in self-sufficiency. They grow their food, reject modern conveniences, and live out Romans 12:2. Therefore, government efforts to enroll the Amish into food stamps were unsuccessful even though they qualified based on income.

Why do Amish consider food stamps to be government handouts?

The Amish believe in good old-fashioned hard work. Therefore, they frown on food stamps as government handouts because they haven’t worked for them. Furthermore, this belief is reinforced by their strong sense of community. The Amish communities are tightly-knit and will quickly help out one of their own. Therefore, even in dire times, the Amish will look to themselves before turning to the government.

Is food stamps tax-exempt?

Yes. Federal law prohibits states from taxing food bought using food stamps. However, this only applies to foods with a “Nutrition Facts” label on their packaging. Food stamps target low-income households to protect them from rising food costs during tough economic times. As such, imposing taxes on items bought using food stamps is counter-intuitive.

What payment methods do the Amish use?

Do Amish Get Food Stamps?
What payment methods do the Amish use? Image source: Freepik

Most Amish prefer cash and checks. They avoid debts and rarely own credit cards. The Amish live a frugal and simple life; they grow their food, reject modern conveniences, and rarely adopt modern technology. Furthermore, their community frowns on debts and upholds saving and wise spending. In fact, on average, the Amish save 20% of their monthly earnings, which comes in handy during tough times or big purchases. However, in rare cases, the Amish take out mortgages to buy farms. They rely on specific banks for this, and because of their financial discipline, some lenders offer them unsecured loans.

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