More than 2.8 million people dropped off food stamps since President Trump’s first full month in office, Fox Business Network reported, citing the latest numbers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Enrollment for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) in May 2018 was 39,329,356 versus 42,134,301 in February 2017.
SNAP, which resources for individuals and families in need of food assistance, is available for households with incomes up to $2,665 per month for a family of four, or 130 percent of the federal poverty level.
Recipients are also subject to asset and employment tests, and states can modify the program with federal permission. Households receiving SNAP had an average monthly gross income of $814 in 2016, and 20 percent had no income.
Food-stamp use generally responds to economic conditions, but it’s not quite a direct link, according to Parke Wilde, a professor at Tufts University’s nutrition school in Boston.
“We’re many years into an economic expansion after the Great Recession and just now we’re starting to enjoy dips in SNAP participation,” Wilde told Bloomberg, as lower unemployment begins to chip away at economic insecurity.
Another reason SNAP use is falling is because eligibility is tightening for able-bodied adults ages 18 to 49 who don’t have dependents and have been jobless for more than three months.
Many states that asked for expanded access to food stamps because of high unemployment are no longer asking for waivers for able-bodied adults without dependents who aren’t working.
(Newsmax wire services contributed to this report).
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