Food Stamp Usage Drops Below 40 Million for First Time in 8 Years

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Food stamp participation dropped below 40 million for the first time in eight years, according to the latest numbers on food stamp enrollment from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The most recent USDA data reveals that 39,604,428 people were enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)—the program that administers food stamps—as of April 2018. The last time enrollment dipped below 40 million was in February 2010, when 39,588,993 people received SNAP benefits.

The latest data on enrollment shows that overall enrollment in the food stamp program has reached historic lows, reaching its lowest point in eight years.

But food stamp enrollment has been steadily declining over the past few months, keeping pace with the downward trend in SNAP participation since 2013.


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Food stamp enrollment falls to 8-year low as economy improves, new work requirements and strict fraud monitor

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Booming economy, fraud crackdown brings enrollment down to 8-year low

  • “It’s a long time coming,” Robert Doar, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, told Fox News. “These numbers are dropping because people are going back to work.”
  • In April, Trump signed an executive order aiming to harden up work requirements for welfare and public assistance programs
  • The USDA in March also announced that it had hired an “integrity officer” who would monitor any instances of fraud in the SNAP program


By Andrew O’Reilly | Fox News


Overall enrollment in the country’s food stamp program has dropped to its lowest level in more than eight years as the economy continues to improve and the Trump administration attempts to tackle fraud in the program.

According to the latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), enrollment in the program dropped in March to 40,083,954. The last time food stamp participation dipped this low was in February 2010, when 39,588,993 people were enrolled in the program.

“As the economy continues to improve, participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is declining,” a USDA official who asked for anonymity told Fox News. “SNAP was established as a temporary supplemental nutrition benefit guiding people to self-sufficiency and self-reliance, not a permanent way of life.”

The USDA official noted that much like jobless numbers, the number of enrollees in SNAP tends to fluctuate month by month. But the official added that the agency expects about 8.8 million to leave the program in the next 10 years.


Read more: Booming economy, fraud crackdown brings enrollment down to 8-year low


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( Fox News ) The Trump administration is considering adopting a plan that would allow states to require mandatory drug testing for some food stamp recipients, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

The proposal is another step in the White House’s push to allow states more flexibility in implementing federal programs for the poor. It also wants to allow states to tighten work requirements for food stamp recipients.

Federal law currently prohibits states from imposing their own conditions on food stamp eligibility. However, at least 20 states have introduced legislation to screen safety net program participants in some capacity, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

An administration official told The AP the drug testing plan would mostly apply to people who are able-bodied, without dependents and seeking some specialized jobs. The official estimated that roughly five percent of participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) could be affected.


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  • Pres. Trump’s “America’s Harvest Box” would provide 16.4 million households, about 81% of current food stamp recipients, with boxes of non-perishable food items grown by U.S. farmers in place of some of their SNAP aid.


By Government Spending FOXBusiness

The Trump administration has a proposal to replace some of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program’s (SNAP) cash benefits with boxes of physical food.

The plan, outlined in the administration’s budget blueprint for fiscal year 2019, is being dubbed “America’s Harvest Box” by the Department of Agriculture. It would provide 16.4 million households, about 81% of current food stamp recipients, with boxes of non-perishable food items grown by U.S. farmers in place of some of their SNAP aid. The government’s proposed program would apply to households that receive more than $90 in food stamp benefits.

Items that could be included in a government-issued food box are grains, peanut butter, canned meat, canned fruits and vegetables, juice and other shelf-stable products, according to the Department of Agriculture. The government would decide what to include based on nutrition guidelines utilized for other, existing programs, such as the Emergency Food Assistance Program, and the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.


Read more:Here’s how Trump plans to replace food stamps


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( Milo ) Illegal immigrants are reportedly canceling their food stamps en masse over fears of being deported, reports the Washington Post.

In an article titled “Immigrants are going hungry so Trump won’t deport them,” WaPo writer Caitlin Dewey cites New York-based SNAP Outreach Coordinator Luisa Fortin whose clients are “spooked by the political climate.”

The article reads:

Since mid-January, five of Fortin’s families have withdrawn from the SNAP program. Based on calls she gets from other clients, she fears more cancellations are imminent.

WaPo goes on to point out that Luisa’s food bank in Chattanooga is not the only one in the country experiencing a downturn in SNAP users.

In the two months since President Trump’s inauguration, food banks and hunger advocates around the country have noticed a decline in the number of eligible immigrants applying for SNAP – and an uptick in immigrants seeking to withdraw from the program.

Many apparently fear that participation in SNAP will catch Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s attention.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that 1.5 million illegal immigrants used food stamps in 2015.

READ MORE: Food Stamp Use Reportedly Drops As Illegal Immigrants Withdraw For Fear Of Deportation