Food stamp usage has drastically declined in the first two years of the Trump administration, according to new Department of Agriculture statistics.
According to the USDA, 38,845,997 Americans participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program as of the end of July. That’s the lowest number since 38,184,306 people were on SNAP in 2009, Breitbart reported.
Further, the overall number of households on SNAP dropped below 20 million to 19.5 million, the lowest since 2010, Breitbart noted.
The data shows that since February 2017, the number of people on SNAP dropped by almost 3.3 million.
Trump said, “I will be the greatest jobs President, God ever created.” Obama should have said, “I will be the greatest food stamps President, God ever created.” Food Stamp Participation Reaches Lowest Level in Nearly a Decade https://t.co/AYk0zrRHCG via @BreitbartNews
— Ryan A. Workman (@RealRyanWorkman) November 12, 2018
This summer, Trump sought to include work requirements for SNAP recipients as part of the latest revision of the Farm Bill.
“We see this Farm Bill as pivotal for building a sturdier ladder of opportunity in America,” outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a release. “With all this momentum in our economy, there could not be a better time to help more people move from welfare to work. This is a chance to close the skills gap, better equip our workforce, and support much-needed development in rural communities.”
Stronger work requirements were supported by the House, but have not been successful in getting broad enough Senate support to ensure passage, The Washington Post reported.
Although national work requirements may not be imposed, states are moving ahead with the process.
As reported by WLIX-TV in Lansing, Michigan, the state recently imposed work requirements on SNAP recipients, announcing that because unemployment has receded from its historic highs, an exemption for the requirement is no longer valid.
In Michigan, individuals must either work 20 hours a week, be in some form of approved job training, or participate in volunteer work for that amount of time.
Some commentators have said SNAP numbers should be even lower and that a push is needed to get SNAP recipients where they belong — on the job.
“We have almost seven million open jobs across America,” said Foundation for Government Accountability executive director Kristina Rasmussen, according to Fox News. “Employers are struggling to find workers. Yet we have people sitting on sidelines in part, because they can — on food stamps.”
Although some states are imposing work requirements, others want those requirements waived.
“I’ve inquired several times on how we can deny these waivers, but we are statutorily precluded from denying the waivers if they fit the criteria,” said Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.
“These have always been considered transition programs. And certainly when unemployment is over 10 percent, we want to be compassionate and generous as Americans to help people get by and get a job. But when jobs are available, in fact, statistics show more jobs are available than we have people to fill them, why are we continuing to issue waivers?” he said.
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