Employment First Program

The Employment First Program provides a full range of employment services to food stamp recipients residing in Adams County. Unless a customer is exempt from participation, food stamp recipients are required to participate with the Employment First program in exchange for food assistance.


volunteerParticipants are required to attend workshops that focus on workplace competencies. They are also required to perform volunteer work at a non-profit worksite for as long as they are receiving food assistance. The hours participants are required to volunteer varies depending upon the amount of food assistance a family receives.

If a customer does not participate in program activities, a sanction is placed on their food assistance case, which will stop their food assistance if they do not comply with program requirements. A sanction only affects the participant’s portion of the food assistance, not the whole family. Participants are also given an opportunity to cure a sanction prior to negative action taking place, but this often results in a delay in their food assistance being issued.

Exemptions From Program Participation

  • Pregnant
  • Dependent care (having a child under age 6) two parent=1 exemption.
  • Disabled family member that requires a participant’s full time care.
  • Applying/Receiving = Social Security Disability; 100% Veterans Disability; Unemployment Insurance;TANF
  • Unable to work.

Often customers are unable to provide a letter from a doctor stating they are unable to work. A letter from a doctor or vocational rehabilitation counselor stating that a customer is unable to “participate” in program activities will also exempt them from participation. Letters must include the reason they cannot participate and the length of time. This does not include customers that are required to job search with Vocational Rehabilitation.