Tag Archives: SNAP

MAGA: Food stamp enrollment falls to eight-year low

Quick, time to write another story about the separation of families at the border! We can’t dare let good news like this receive any attention.
From Fox News: Overall enrollment in the country’s food stamp program has dropped to its lowest level in more than eight years as the economy continues to improve and the Trump administration attempts to tackle fraud in the program.
According to the latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), enrollment in the program dropped in March to 40,083,954. The last time food stamp participation dipped this low was in February 2010, when 39,588,993 people were enrolled in the program.
“As the economy continues to improve, participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is declining,” a USDA official who asked for anonymity told Fox News. “SNAP was established as a temporary supplemental nutrition benefit guiding people to self-sufficiency and self-reliance, not a permanent way of life.”
The USDA official noted that much like jobless numbers, the number of enrollees in SNAP tends to fluctuate month by month. But the official added that the agency expects about 8.8 million to leave the program in the next 10 years.
SNAP, which was formerly known as the Food Stamps Program, is a federal program that provides grocery assistance for people out of work or with low incomes living in the U.S. To qualify for the program, individuals must make 130 percent or less of the federal poverty level based on the household size.
The program is meant to help people buy nutritional items like breads, vegetables, dairy products and meats, while barring them from purchasing alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and household supplies and paper products among other items.
While overall food stamp enrollment has been on a steady decline since 2013, some observers credit President Trump’s emphasis on getting more Americans back to work and his administration’s crackdown on fraud in the SNAP program as the reason why the decline has sped up.
“It’s a long time coming,” Robert Doar, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, told Fox News. “These numbers are dropping because people are going back to work.”
Since Trump took office, more than 2.2 million have discontinued their participation in the SNAP program in large part due to his administration’s moves to reform SNAP. Trump in February proposed a 30 percent, or $214 billion, cut to SNAP as part of the White House’s federal budget proposal.
In April, Trump signed an executive order aiming to harden up work requirements for welfare and public assistance programs. The order, which aims to reduce poverty “by promoting opportunity and economic mobility,” calls for agencies to strengthen work requirements and to look for new ones.
“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,” the executive order stated. “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.”
Following Trump’s order, the House Agriculture Committee voted to tighten the already existing work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), while expanding funding for state training programs. The legislation passed Wednesday by the committee would require all “work capable adults” between the age of 18 and 59 to work or participate in work training for 20 hours per week. The tweak means a greater number of people would have to work or enroll in work training.
The USDA in March also announced that it had hired an “integrity officer” who would monitor any instances of fraud in the SNAP program and, in February, Trump announced the rollout of the so-called “Harvest Box” program – an initiative to give food stamp recipients a box of “shelf-stable” foods along with the SNAP allotment.
“The Harvest Box is a silly idea and probably not going anywhere,” Doar said. “But the integrity office is a good step to take…It helps make sure that the program is not only about getting the benefits, but also making sure people are getting back to work.”
The moves by the Trump administration to clamp down on who can receive food stamps has drawn a strong rebuke from numerous Democrats and advocacy groups that work with low-income people and families. Many argue that Trump is manipulating the view of who receives food stamps and that SNAP already had work requirements built into the program.
Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern told the New York Times in February that Trump was painting a “distorted picture” of those who receive food stamps by saying that they are scamming SNAP and avoiding work.
“They have to stop playing to the cheap seats,” he said. “The majority of people in the program are children and seniors and people working in jobs that pay too little to feed their families.”

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Wisconsin moves forward with drug testing food stamp recipients


Governor Scott Walker

From Fox 11: Gov. Scott Walker moved ahead Monday with his plans to make Wisconsin the first state to drug test able-bodied adults applying for food stamps, a move blocked by the federal government or found to be unconstitutional when other states have tried.
Wisconsin’s plan was approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature more than two years ago, but it languished because it conflicts with federal rules prohibiting states from imposing additional eligibility criteria on food stamp recipients.
Florida had a drug test requirement for food stamp recipients that a federal appeals court blocked in 2014, finding it violated constitutional protections against unreasonable searches. Walker filed a federal lawsuit in 2015 seeking approval to test food stamp applicants, but it was rejected because then-President Barack Obama’s administration had not yet formally rejected the state’s request to do the testing.
Walker asked then-President elect Donald Trump’s administration in December 2016 to make clear that drug screening is permissible, but it has not taken action and now Walker is moving ahead anyway.
Walker approved a rule change to implement the screening and sent it to the Legislature for review Monday. Walker spokesman Tom Evenson said the governor believes he has the authority to implement the rule.
The Legislature has four months to review the rule and it could take a year after its approval before the testing would begin. Lawsuits by those who oppose the drug testing are expected once it’s implemented, assuming the federal government doesn’t step in and block it in the meantime.
Under the plan, childless FoodShare participants who fail a drug test would be eligible for state-funded rehabilitation treatment if they don’t have any other way to pay for it. FoodShare is Wisconsin’s name for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
The Walker administration estimated that a small fraction of the program’s applicants — 220, or 0.3 percent, of the 67,400 applicants a year — would actually test positive for drugs. Walker has touted the drug testing as a way to put more drug-free workers into the workplace.
Opponents say that’s wrongheaded. “The state could do far more to expand the workforce by investing in broader access to effective drug treatment programs, rather than spending scarce state resources on the administration of drug screening and testing requirements,” said Jon Peacock, research director for Kids Forward, which advocates for children and families in Wisconsin.
Peacock said he was certain there would be a legal challenge over the constitutionality of drug screening food stamp recipients as well as whether such a move would be a violation of federal law governing the food stamp program.
Walker has pushed to expand drug testing for public benefit recipients. The budget he signed this year called for drug screening all able-bodied, childless adults applying for state Medicaid BadgerCare health benefits, pending federal approval. The budget also required drug test requirements for food stamp recipients would be expanded to parents of children ages 6 to 18.
Walker and 11 other governors in 2016 asked the federal government for permission to drug test food stamp recipients.

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Is the Whole Country on Food Stamps?

“Did you sign up for Obamacare?”
I was sitting in the barber chair, getting my hair cut, and the question caught me off guard.
“No. Did you?”
“Yes, I signed up,” said the Korean woman who cuts my hair. “It’s cheaper than paying the fine.”
“How much is it?” I asked her.
“Nothing,” she said. “It’s free if you don’t have money.”
Now this I found odd, because she owned the hair salon I was in, and she had two other hair cutters working for her.
“Are you on food stamps?” she asked next.
“No,” I said.
“You should get on food stamps. I can tell you where to go.”
“Are you on food stamps?” I asked her.
She smiled sheepishly and hesitated for several long seconds before saying, “No.”
I didn’t believe her.
“It’s two hundred a month,” she said. “It helps.”
“But don’t you have to be broke to get food stamps?” I asked.
“Oh, no. It’s easy. You just have to sign up. If you want to get on them, tell me, and I’ll tell you where to go.”
I paid her twenty bucks for the haircut and went home. An email from a friend read: Do you know how to get food stamps?
I emailed him back: Aren’t you working?
His reply: Job sucks. Where do I go for stamps?
My reply: Talk to my barber.
Then I turned the computer off.
Later at work, a black guy at my job sailed by me saying, “The revolution is coming!” He set up shop in the break room, making chicken sandwiches. “You want one?” he asked me.
“No, thanks,” I said. “I just ate.”
“Well, take one for later,” he said. “I got plenty.”
“Save your money,” I told him.
“It ain’t my money, it’s EBT. You don’t have your EBT?”
He dropped what he was doing and looked at me like I was from another planet. “What’s wrong with you? We don’t make enough here to survive. Get yourself an EBT.”
Back home, I click on the link that Anonymous has posted several times: It’s free! It’s free! Swipe yo EBT!
Yup. The whole country is on food stamps.

Note: The food stamps program is now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
From the US Dept. of Agriculture Food & Nutrition Service:

How Can I Report SNAP Fraud?

If you see or hear about SNAP fraud, tell us. Help us protect your tax dollars.
FNS takes aggressive measures to fight all fraud. We appreciate the help of concerned citizens.

  • Fraud reports of any kind may be filed with the USDA Office of Inspector General.
    • Call
      • (800) 424-9121
      • (202) 690-1622
      • (202) 690-1202 (TDD)
    • Write
      • United States Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General PO Box 23399 Washington, DC 20026-3399
    • Online
  • You can also report fraud to your State. This is especially important if you think that someone lied about their income or assets, or is misusing their benefits.

Your report is confidential.
Help us Fight SNAP Fraud.

See also:

~Mike & Eowyn

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1/3 of U.S. population now receive federal food assistance

food stamp

This is what 4½ years of the Obama presidency have wrought.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General’s latest Audit Report 27001-0001-10, “Overlap and Duplication in Food and Nutrition Service’s Nutrition Programs” (henceforth, Report), the number of Americans receiving subsidized food assistance from the federal government is now a staggering 101 million — a number that is one-third of the entire U.S. population, outnumbering the number of Americans who work full-time in the private, i.e., non-government, sector of the economy.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture runs a Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), the mission of which “is to provide children and needy families with better access to food and a more healthful diet through its food assistance programs and comprehensive educational efforts”. FNS consists of 15 individual programs with a combined fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget of $114 billion, some of which may duplicate or overlap with other programs (Report, pp. 8 & 2). Translated into simple English, that means WASTE.

Those 15 “food nutrition” programs include:

  • The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the agency’s cornerstone program formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, comprises the largest portion of FNS’ overall budget at $88.6 billion in FY 2012.
  • Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, which had a budget of $6.6 billion in FY 2012.
  • Child nutrition programs such as the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), Summer Food Service, and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), which together totaled over $18 billion in FY 2012. (Report, p. 8)

FNS estimates that a total of 101 million people currently participate in at least one of its programs, including over 47 million in SNAP or food stamps, a historically high figure that has risen with the economic downturn and expanded eligibility and funding of food assistance programs. (Report, p. 11)


H/t CNSNews


The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that a total of 101,000,000 people currently participate in at least one of the 15 food programs offered by the agency, at a cost of $114 billion in fiscal year 2012. – See more at: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/101m-get-food-aid-federal-gov-t-outnumber-full-time-private-sector-workers#sthash.NoGORBtZ.dpuf

The number of Americans receiving subsidized food assistance from the federal government has risen to 101 million, representing roughly a third of the U.S. population.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that a total of 101,000,000 people currently participate in at least one of the 15 food programs offered by the agency, at a cost of $114 billion in fiscal year 2012.

– See more at: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/101m-get-food-aid-federal-gov-t-outnumber-full-time-private-sector-workers#sthash.NoGORBtZ.dpuf

The number of Americans receiving subsidized food assistance from the federal government has risen to 101 million, representing roughly a third of the U.S. population.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that a total of 101,000,000 people currently participate in at least one of the 15 food programs offered by the agency, at a cost of $114 billion in fiscal year 2012.

That means the number of Americans receiving food assistance has surpassed the number of full-time private sector workers in the U.S.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 97,180,000 full-time private sector workers in 2012.

The population of the U.S. is 316.2 million people, meaning nearly a third of Americans receive food aid from the government.

Of the 101 million receiving food benefits, a record 47 million Americans participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps. The USDA describes SNAP as the “largest program in the domestic hunger safety net.”

The USDA says the number of Americans on food stamps is a “historically high figure that has risen with the economic downturn.”

SNAP has a monthly average of 46.7 million participants, or 22.5 million households.  Food stamps alone had a budget of $88.6 billion in FY 2012.

The USDA also offers nutrition assistance for pregnant women, school children and seniors.

The National School Lunch program provides 32 million students with low-cost or no-cost meals daily; 10.6 million participate in the School Breakfast Program; and 8.9 million receive benefits from the Woman, Infants and Children (WIC) program each month, the latter designed for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women, as well as children younger than 5 years old.

In addition, 3.3 million children at day care centers receive snacks through the Child and Adult Care Food Program.

There’s also a Special Milk Program for schools and a Summer Food Service Program, through which 2.3 million children received aid in July 2011 during summer vacation.

At farmer’s markets, 864,000 seniors receive benefits to purchase food and 1.9 million women and children use coupons from the program.

A “potential for overlap” exists with the many food programs offered by the USDA, allowing participants to have more than their daily food needs subsidized completely by the federal government.

According to a July 3 audit by the Inspector General, the USDA’s Food Nutrition Service (FNS) “may be duplicating its efforts by providing participants total benefits in excess of 100 percent of daily nutritional needs when households and/or individuals participate in more than one FNS program simultaneously.”

Food assistance programs are designed to be a “safety net,” the IG said.

“With the growing rate of food insecurity among U.S. households and significant pressures on the Federal budget, it is important to understand how food assistance programs complement one another as a safety net, and how services from these 15 individual programs may be inefficient, due to overlap and duplication,” the audit said.

– See more at: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/101m-get-food-aid-federal-gov-t-outnumber-full-time-private-sector-workers#sthash.NoGORBtZ.dpuf

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Welfare abuse: $7,000 on Texas food stamp card


During Obama’s first term, the number of persons taking federal food stamps, formally known as the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP), increased by approximately 11,133 persons per day — from a national total of 31,939,110 in January 2009, to 47,525,329 by October 2012, the last month reported.

Federal spending on SNAP has increased every fiscal year that Obama has been in office, from $55.6 billion in FY 2009 (when SNAP was still known as the “Food Stamp” program) to $80.4 billion in fiscal year 2012—an increase of $$24.8 billion. [Source: CNSNews]
The food stamps program, like other government welfare programs, is rife with fraud and waste.
Francy Guerra's mugshot

Francy Guerra’s mugshot

A recent example is a woman in Florida, Francy Yuliett Guerra, 28, who was found to have received $70,000 in food stamps in a three-year period, although she is not eligible for SNAP. State officials said a fraud study they’re concluding found that hundreds of millions of dollars are lost to fraud, waste and abuse.
To be sure, there are food stamps recipients who are truly needy and deserving of help. But a recipient who has a balance of more than $7,000 in his food stamp “account” most certainly is not needy.

That discovery was made by a gas station clerk in Brownsville, Texas, who witnessed a customer using food stamps with a balance of $7029.32 of hardworking taxpayers’ money on his Lone Star SNAP card. Here’s the receipt:

food stamps
Joey Horta reports for KGBT Channel 4, a CBS affiliate in Harlingen, Texas, Feb. 20, 2013, that the clerk contacted the local SNAP office, but was told they couldn’t do anything about it.
If a recipient doesn’t use up his/her monthly SNAP “benefits,” the balance simply rolls over in his/her SNAP account instead of returned to the government taxpayers. That’s how we can end up with $7,029.32 as the outstanding balance in this individual’s SNAP account, which begs the question of whether he actually needs food stamps assistance in the first place.

Even more sobering is the fact that nearly 1 out of every 3 people in just two counties in Texas are on food stamps.
The KGBT report says that according to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, in the month of February 2013, there are more than 238,000 people in Hidalgo County and 119,000 people in Cameron County on SNAP, costing tax payers more than $28,000,000 and $13,000,000, respectively.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Hidalgo County’s total population in 2011 was 797,810. That means 30% of the county’s population are on food stamps! In 2011, Cameron County’s population was 414,123, which means 29% of the county’s population are on food stamps.
Anyone with any sense knows that this is unsustainable. And yet, so many in America have eyes but do not see what is clear as daylight to the rest of us. 🙁
See also:


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Road to Ruin – Cradle to Grave

H/T Kelleigh

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