(CNSNews.com) - "Here’s a great stat," President Trump tweeted on Monday. "[S]ince January 2017, the number of people forced to use food stamps is down 1.9 million. The American people are finally back to work!"
In January 2018, the Agriculture Department's Food and Nutrition Service counted 40,739,084 individuals as receiving food stamps. As Trump said, that's 1,937,228 fewer people on the SNAP rolls than the 42,676,312 counted in January 2017, when Trump took office.
(The chart notes that FY 2018 data are preliminary and subject to revision and that data may include disaster assistance.)
The number of SNAP recipients reached a record 28,223,000 in Fiscal Year 2008, following the onset of the recession triggered by the subprime mortgage crisis.
The following year -- the first of the Obama presidency -- a record 33,490,000 individuals received food stamps (electronic benefit cards), and the number kept rising to an all-time high of 47,636,000 in FY 2013.
Since 2013, the number has steadily drifted down to the current (and still very high) 40,739,228 in January 2018.
In January 2018, the states with the highest SNAP enrollment were: California (4,003,826); Texas (3,823,986); Florida (3,205,617); New York (2,831,503); and Pennsylvania (1,832,440).
The states/territories with the lowest SNAP enrollment in January were: Virgin Islands (28,469); Wyoming (30,647); Guam (44,805); North Dakota (53,547); and Vermont (75,190).
USDA describes SNAP as the "largest program in the domestic hunger safety net."
The program cost $68,108,010,000 in Fiscal Year 2017.
The average SNAP recipient received about $126 a month (or about $4.20 a day, $1.40 per meal) in fiscal year 2017, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
The 2018 farm bill, passed by the House Agriculture Committee last week, would strengthen work requirements for SNAP recipients. It also combines the use of traditional SNAP EBT cards with a USDA "Harvest Box" that contains American-grown foods.