Contrary to What You’ve Heard, Food Stamp Spending is Declining

4-21-16 Food For Thought

It’s a common political talking point: More people are on food stamps (SNAP) than ever before. The implication is that government spending on food assistance is out of control.

While it’s true that the Great Recession pushed millions of Americans into financial desperation and onto food assistance programs, the latest numbers show that SNAP spending is now declining. In fact, it fell 3% in the first half of this fiscal year.

“When adjusted for food price inflation, SNAP spending in the first half of this fiscal year was the lowest since 2009,” writes Dottie Rosenbaum of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

The reason is simple: When more Americans are in financial need, SNAP use grows. When fewer Americans are in need, it shrinks.

Read more about how SNAP spending is changing as the economy improves.