The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has been a hot topic in the debate of the Farm Bill in the House of Representatives. Republicans want to add in a component to help recipients get on their feet and back to work, while Democrats contend reforms will remove benefits from people who still need it. New data suggests not as many people are needing the help as before.
According to the United Sates Department of Agriculture, SNAP enrollment is down to 40 million recipients. This is a drop of over 7 million recipients since the program had 47.6 million enrollees in 2013. American Farm Bureau Economist Michael Nepveux says this is the lowest number of enrollees in eight years.
Nepveux says the number of enrollees correlates to the state of the American economy. The U.S. unemployment rate has dropped over four percent since SNAP enrollment was at its peak.
State populations also play a part in the cost of the SNAP program. The smaller the state’s population, the less percentage of people are enrolling in the SNAP program.
The House still must try and pass the current version of the Farm Bill by Friday. The Senate hopes to have their version of the bill on the floor by the end of the week. A conference committee of the two bills could be contentious, since the Senate has said the House version of the Farm Bill has no chance in their chamber.