The Number of Americans Using Food Stamps Plummets as Economy Continues to Grow

The number of Americans dependent on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) dropped by 2.8 million users as President Donald Trump’s economy continues to grow. 

SNAP, sometimes referred to as food stamps, is a program under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that provides assistance to low-income families in purchasing groceries.

SNAP has been on a downward trend for a few years, but membership has declined significantly since the president’s first full month in office. 

Most of the decline in SNAP participation is believed to be from U.S. economic growth. President Trump’s administration has seen record job numbers and low unemployment, greatly reducing American dependence on government programs like SNAP. 

The U.S. productivity has grown, too, leading to a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 4.1 percent — a number some economists didn’t think was possible. 

Much of the job growth under President Trump is connected to his reduction in regulation and his cutting of corporate taxes under the GOP’s Jobs and Tax Cuts Act

Although House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) only saw the tax cuts as “crumbs,” many Americans reduced their dependence on government and found work to feed their families.

Proposed Policy Changes May Have Impacted SNAP Users

Although much of the SNAP reduction is believed to be from economic growth, there have also been many proposed changes to the program itself that may have encouraged users to find an alternative.

Early in 2018, the president proposed reforming the food stamp program. Currently, SNAP users do their own purchasing using a preloaded card. The president proposed a program that would directly send SNAP users boxes of food.

This proposal received a lot of criticism because it limited the choices for people on the program. 

President Trump also proposed letting states implement a drug policy connected to stamps, forbidding the distribution of assistance to anyone who could not pass a drug test.

Recently, the president encouraged the Senate to leave a requirement in the Farm Bill to include a work requirement for food stamps nationwide.

On the state level, several states already implemented work requirements for food stamps and saw participation levels drop rapidly. 

Either way, more people are at work, and fewer people are dependent on the government to feed their families. 

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