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Food Stamp Enrollment Drops in 47 States

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 19: A grocery store advertises that they accept food stamps in the South Bronx on September 19, 2013 in New York City. According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau report, over a quarter-million people in the South Bronx are living in poverty, making the 16th …
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
KATHERINE RODRIGUEZ

Food stamp enrollment dropped over the past year in 47 out of 50 states, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistics on nationwide food stamp enrollment.

The majority of states saw declines in the number of people enrolling in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — the federal government program which administers food stamps — over the past year, with 47 states reporting a decline in enrollment between September 2017 and September 2018, according to the most recent USDA data.

Some states even reported double-digit drops in food stamp enrollment. Food stamp enrollment went down the most in Texas, where 32.2 percent of food stamp recipients dropped out of the welfare program.

North Carolina took second place, with 18.9 percent of residents opting out of food stamps, and Alaska took third with 15.2 percent of residents discontinuing their participation in the program.

Only two states reported slight increases in enrollment during this time frame. Kansas reported a 3.2 percent increase in residents participating in SNAP, and Colorado reported a 1.6 increase in food stamp usage, according to the data.

The third state, Rhode Island, did not report its data to the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) because it has been experiencing issues reporting data on state-level food stamp participation since February 2017.

Nationwide, food stamp usage has been on a steady decline because of welfare reforms implemented at the state level over the past few years.

According to the latest USDA data, 3.5 million Americans discontinued their participation in SNAP since President Donald Trump’s first full month in office.

It is unclear whether enrollment in the nation’s food stamp program will continue its steady decline from 2013 onward with the relaxed provisions on welfare reform in the 2018 Farm Bill which recently passed Congress.

The bill is headed to Trump’s desk, where he is expected to approve the measure even though he had urged the Senate to pass the work requirements provision and other welfare reform measures in August.

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