Participation in the nation’s food stamp program is at an all-time low in almost a decade, according to recent national government data.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) data indicates 38,845,997 people participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the program responsible for governing food stamps, in August 2018.
The last time participation was this low was nine years ago with numbers at 38,184,306 – according to the data.
For 10 months straight, the participation rate in the SNAP program has declined.
Below is a month-by-month breakdown of how many people canceled their food stamp benefits through SNAP in fiscal year 2018:
October to November: 4,050,688
November to December: 357,508
December to January: 740,952
January to February: 385,456
February to March: 39,701
March to April: 426,055
April to May: 139,570
May to June: 143,834
June to July: 383,883
July to August: 114,569
The steady decline in enrollment over the past 10 months has been occurring since July 2013, which began mostly at the state level based on policies which includes work requirements and job training. In addition, since February 2017, enrollment in SNAP dropped by 3,288,304, according to the latest USDA data.
Work requirements for food stamp benefits have not made it to the federal level at this time. President Trump has asked Congress to pass national legislation mandating food stamp work requirements in the 2018 Farm Bill. However, the House’s version of the Farm Bill passed 213-211 which included work requirement provisions. The Senate’s version of the Farm Bill did not include a work requirement provision.
The U.S. Senate is expected to pass a Farm Bill version before the end of 2018 which will may include a work requirement on food stamps, but some senators are finding it hard to agree on this requirement. The requirement may not pass the Senate’s 60-vote threshold.