More than 2.5 million households dropped off food stamps since President Donald Trump’s first full month in office, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data.
The most recent USDA data shows that 2,543,924 households stopped receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits— the program in charge of food stamps— between the end of Trump’s first full month in office and July 2019.
As of July 2019, the most current data available, 18,393,979 households and 36,285,397 individuals have participated in the nation’s food stamp program.
But USDA officials said those numbers are “preliminary” due to the 2018 government shutdown, which affected food stamp administration at the beginning of 2019.
Although the numbers are preliminary, individuals and households on food stamps had consistently declined since 2013 under the Obama administration when enrollment reached its peak in U.S. history.
After 2013, SNAP enrollment plunged once state legislatures passed laws requiring food stamp recipients to work, attend school, volunteer, or participate in job training for at least 20 hours per week to receive benefits.
The downward trend has continued under Trump and reached historic lows throughout his presidency.
Breitbart News reported in July the number of individuals partaking in the nation’s food stamp program reached its lowest enrollment for the first time in ten years— and two years within former President Barack Obama’s first term in office, with 35,993,281 individuals taking part in SNAP.
Trump has signified he wants food stamp enrollment to go down even more, telling Breitbart News in a March Oval Office interview that he does not want immigrants coming to the U.S. to be dependent on food stamps.
“I don’t want to have anyone coming in that’s on welfare,” Trump told Breitbart News in March.
The Trump administration has started to make good on Trump’s promise to reduce food stamp enrollment, recently releasing several policies that would close loopholes for those taking advantage of the nation’s food stamp program.
The USDA issued a proposal in July that would close a “loophole” allowing 3.1 million people who already receive benefits from a non-cash welfare program to receive food stamps through SNAP.
The Trump administration also released a “public charge rule” in August which would deny green cards to immigrants or make it harder for them to obtain them if they have a history of using welfare benefits such as food stamps. The final version of the rule is set to go into effect on October 15, according to the federal register.