Food stamp enrollment falls to 8-year low as Trump clamps down on fraud, economy improves

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 within March to 40, 083, 954. The last time food stamp involvement dipped this low was in Feb 2010, when 39, 588, 993 people were enrolled in the program.

“As the economic climate continues to improve, participation in the Additional Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will be declining, ” a USDA established who asked  for anonymity informed Fox News. “SNAP was set up as a temporary supplemental nutrition advantage guiding people to self-sufficiency and self-reliance, not a permanent way of life. ”

The UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE official noted that much like unemployed numbers, the number of enrollees in TAKE tends to fluctuate month by 30 days. But the official added that the company expects about  8. 8 mil to leave the program in the next ten years.

CLICK, which was formerly known as the Food Rubber stamps Program, is a federal program that delivers grocery assistance for people out of work or even with low incomes living in the particular U. S. To qualify for this program, individuals must make 130 % or less of the federal low income level based on the household size.

The program is intended to help people buy nutritional things like breads, vegetables, dairy products and meat, while barring them from buying alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and household materials and paper products among some other items.

While overall food stamp registration has been on a steady decline given that 2013, some observers credit Chief executive Trump’ s emphasis on getting a lot more Americans back to work and his administration’ s crackdown on fraud within the SNAP program as the reason why the particular decline has sped up.

  (2011 Getty Images)

“ It’ s a long time arriving, ” Robert Doar, a many other at the American Enterprise Institute, informed Fox News. “ These quantities are dropping because people are returning to work. ”

Since Trump took workplace, more than 2 . 2 million possess discontinued their participation in the TAKE program in large part due to his administration’ s moves to reform SNAP.

Trump within February proposed a 30 percent, or even $214 billion, cut to CLICK as part of the White House’s federal spending budget proposal.

In April, Trump signed a good executive order aiming to harden upward work requirements for welfare plus public assistance programs. The purchase, which aims to reduce poverty “ by promoting opportunity and financial mobility, ” calls for agencies in order to strengthen work requirements and to search for new ones.

“ They have to stop playing to the cheap seats. ”

– Rep. Jim McGovern

“ The Federal  Government should do everything within its authority to empower individuals by providing opportunities for work, including by investing in Federal programs that are effective at moving people into the workforce and out of poverty, ” the executive order stated.   “ It must examine Federal policies and programs to ensure that they are consistent with principles that are central to the American spirit — work, free enterprise and safeguarding human and economic resources. ”

Following Trump’ s order, the House Agriculture Committee voted to tighten the already existing work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), while expanding funding for state training programs.   The legislation passed Wednesday by the committee would require all “ work capable adults” between the age of 18 and 59 to work or participate in work training for 20 hours per week. The tweak means a greater number of people would have to work or enroll in work training.  

The USDA in March also announced that it had hired an “ integrity officer” who would monitor any instances of fraud in the SNAP program and, in February, Trump announced the rollout of the so-called “ Harvest Box” program – an initiative to give food stamp recipients a box of “ shelf-stable” foods along with the SNAP allotment.

“ The Harvest Box is a silly idea and probably not going anywhere, ” Doar said. “ But the integrity office is a good step to take… It helps make sure that the program is not only about getting the benefits, but also making sure people are getting back to work. ”

The moves by the Trump administration to clamp down on who can receive food stamps has drawn a strong rebuke from numerous Democrats and advocacy groups that work with low-income people and families. Many argue that Trump is manipulating the view of who receives food stamps and that SNAP already had work requirements built into the program

Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern told the New York Times in February that Trump was painting a “ distorted picture” of those who receive food stamps by saying that they are scamming SNAP and avoiding work.

“ They have to stop playing to the cheap seats, ” he said. “ The majority of people in the program are children and seniors and people working in jobs that pay too little to feed their families. ”