6 Million People Are Off Food Stamp Program Under Donald Trump

Approximately 6.1 million individuals are off food stamps since February 2017, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Breitbart reports, the USDA data showed that 6,074,074 individuals discontinued their participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) between February 2017 and November 2019.

Household participation in SNAP declined as well, with 2,489,315 households discontinuing SNAP.

There are currently 36,223,717 individuals and 18,448,588 households that are participating in SNAP.

When Trump took office, 42,297,791 individuals and 20,937,903 households were enrolled in SNAP.

Trump recently made it a point in his annual State of the Union address to stress that he helped the poor move off welfare to find jobs with his recent enactment of work requirements.

As Breitbart News explained last year, this move is to encourage independence, because it requires recipients to seek work or further education: “Those who are able-bodied and between the ages of 18-49 and without children or dependents who receive food stamps for more than three months in a 36-month period must work, go to school, receive job training, or volunteer to receive benefits.”

Another way the USDA has been trying to keep enrollment in the food stamp program down is to identify food stamp fraud.

According to a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), computer algorithms went through SNAP purchase data in seven states and matched it up with retailer and eligibility data to see if there was fraud.

In Mississippi, the state reported $2 million in SNAP overpayments since the state started incorporating data-mining into its fraud detection efforts.

But the study was limited, as all seven states said high costs, data limitations, and organizational support affected their ability to use more advanced artificial intelligence-gathering techniques to ferret out fraud.

Other states, however, have done similar things with analytics to investigate and root out fraud for different welfare programs at the state level. Utah became one of the first states to modernize its unemployment insurance analytics system in 2006 after spending $14 million to overhaul it. In 2015, the state had one of the lowest fraud rates in the country at 1.3 percent.

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About Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met and married an American journalist and moved to D.C. from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A. in Graphics, Media, and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.

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