Once again, the number of recipients of food stamps has grown smaller under the Trump Administration.
Food stamp applications and use are tracked by the USDA and are counted by the number of households, not the number of individuals receiving benefits. According to the most recent report from the USDA, the total number of food stamp households has dropped by another 2.5 million last month. While the number of households receiving food stamp benefits has dropped, the amount of those benefits has risen by $20 per household per month since 2018.
The USDA sponsored food stamp program is designed to provide nutritious food for families that qualify under current guidelines. These are based on poverty guidelines and the number of family members in each household. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is offered in all 50 states, and is designed to supplement a family’s ability to purchase food.
The average monthly benefit per household as of May 2019 is just over $275; the average individual benefit per month is just under $137. Households leave the SNAP program for a variety of reasons; in many cases, the family begins making more money, reducing the amount of benefits they receive. Additional hours of work, a new job or a pay raise can all lead to an individual or household moving out of the poverty level and out of the income range required to qualify for food stamps.
A total of over 5.8 million users have dropped off of welfare and SNAP rolls since President Trump took office. According to Breitbart, President Trump equates the reduction in welfare numbers to an improvement in the overall economy. The president also stated that welfare programs like SNAP were to be kept available for American citizens only, not to the many illegal immigrants surging into the country:
“I don’t want people that need welfare,” Trump said, speaking to Breitbart. “We owe a lot of money. We’re taking care of everybody in the world’s military. But now as you know I got over $100 billion from NATO countries.”
He continued that many countries that have immigrants coming illegally to the country are already receiving US financial aid:
“But that’s not enough, that’s not enough, we’re paying for massive portions of NATO. We shouldn’t be paying for this. They should be paying their own way, and we can help them, but we shouldn’t be paying for — and by the way, here’s a beauty. We pay for their military defense and then they take advantage of us on trade in addition. It used to be in order to have the trade we take care of them — but they get us both ways.”
The number of SNAP recipients is expected to continue the downward trend it has had in the past two years as jobless rates continue to drop and the economy improves.