Enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has dropped to its lowest level in more than eight years, reports the US Department of Agriculture.
There are currently about 40 million Americans enrolled in SNAP, a federal program that provides grocery assistance for Americans who make 130% or less of the federal poverty level. SNAP dollars can be used on nutritional foods, but not on alcohol, tobacco, or paper products.
“As the economy continues to improve, participation in SNAP is declining,” said one USDA official. “SNAP was established as a temporary supplemental nutrition benefit guiding people to self-sufficiency and self-reliance, not a permanent way of life.”
More than 2.2 million people have left SNAP since Trump took office, and the USDA predicts another 8.8 million will leave the program during the next 10 years.
Reduced enrollment in the program is a good thing for Americans because it means people can support themselves without help from the government. And it’s a good thing for the government because it means we’re spending less money on welfare programs.
The decline in enrollment is widely viewed as a result of the economic improvements and job gains we’ve seen under President Trump, as well as his efforts to reduce fraud within the program.
Trump in February proposed a 30% cut to SNAP. In April, he signed an executive order urging agencies to tighten work requirements for welfare and public assistance programs.
“The Federal Government should do everything within its authority to empower individuals by providing opportunities for work, including by investing in Federal programs that are effective at moving people into the workforce and out of poverty,” reads the directive. “It must examine Federal policies and programs to ensure that they are consistent with principles that are central to the American spirit – work, free enterprise, and safeguarding human and economic resources.”
Last Wednesday, the House Agriculture Committee passed legislation requiring all able-bodied adults between the ages of 18 and 59 to either work or participate in work training for 20 hours per week if they want to receive benefits.
Editor’s note: We can’t have this many people “on the dole,” it’s just not good for the country. Focus on education, work training, and on changing the cultures that tend to be on these kinds of programs.