Survey and interview data about life after welfare reform were collected from food pantry clients in upstate New York in 1997 and 1999. By 1999, respondents were increasingly likely to have no work or benefits. Having no work or benefits was also associated with having been penalized (sanctioned) for not working or for noncompliance with welfare rules. Sanctions for not working averaged 89 days. Clients sanctioned for job loss tended to report problems with health (including children's health). Sanctioned individuals reported relatively high levels of financial strain, unstable housing, children's changing schools, and lack of a phone. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.

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