FSET 2018-01-24T15:27:56+00:00

MRGDC | Workforce Programs | Food Stamp Education & Training (FSE&T)


To assist food stamp recipients in obtaining employment, including provision of work opportunities for 18-50 year old able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) through participation in work programs and education/training activities.

Sources of Funding: The Texas Workforce Commission receives a 100% federal FSE&T grant from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). Additional expenditures are funded at a federal/state-matching rate (50/50).

Eighty percent of the 100% federal grant is to be spent on qualifying work or training activities for the able-bodied adult without dependents (ABAWD) population. The remaining 20% of the federal funding may be spent on allowable work activities such as job search, for both the general population (non-ABAWDs) and ABAWDs. State funds that are matched with federal funds may be spent on both populations.


Local Workforce Development Boards and their contractors will administer services that will assist non-public assistance food stamp recipients in entering employment, or in participation in education or vocational training activities which will promote long-term self-sufficiency. Services include:

  • Directed Job Search
  • Vocational Education/Training
  • Non-Vocation Education/Training
  • Work Experience (for youth ages 16-21)
  • Workfare

In May 1998, services to recipients 18-50 with no dependents were implemented. These individuals known as Able-bodied Adults without Dependents (ABAWDs) must be engaged in work (paid/unpaid) for at least 20 hours per week or other allowable activities to be eligible for food stamps for more than three months in any 36-month period. Federal regulations stipulate the activities/components that ABAWD recipients may participate in.

Job search is not an allowable activity for ABAWDs unless it is done in conjunction with workfare. Boards may pattern services to non-ABAWDs after Texas’ Work First model, or design their own method of service delivery.

Support Services for transportation, including a one-time work-related transportation payment, and dependent care expenses are evaluated based on individual need. Payment for GED testing and certificates of high school equivalency is also available.


Program oversight is the responsibility of the Workforce Development Division within TWC. The FSE&T program originally operated within 56 counties in which 78% of the mandatory work registrants resided. In FFY99 LWDBs were given the opportunity to expand services. A total of 83 counties are now designated as FSE&T counties. Services will expand to additional counties as designated by Boards.

Legal Base:

Food Stamp Act of 1977, as amended by the Food Security Act of 1985, the Hunger Act of 1988, the Mickey Leland Domestic Hunger Relief Act of 1990, the Personal Responsibility and Reconciliation Act of 1996, the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 and the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 7, Part 273.

For more information about the Food Stamp Employment and Training Program, you can visit this web page:http://www.twc.state.tx.us/welref/welrefinfo.html

Please e-mail questions and comments about FSE&T to sharon.roland@twc.state.tx.us.