The number of individuals receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise known as food stamps, declined by more than two million in fiscal year 2017, according to data released by the Department of Agriculture.
In fiscal year 2016, the number of individuals receiving benefits from the food stamp program totaled 44,219,363. In 2017, that number dropped to 42,182,443—a decline of 2,036,920.
Food stamp participation has declined roughly 9 percent over the last four years. In fiscal year 2014, there were 46,663,872 individuals on food stamps.
Historical data show that while the program has expanded greatly over time, participation has declined as of late. The USDA has been tracking data on SNAP participation since fiscal year 1969, at which time average participation in the program stood at about 2,878,000. This means that since then, participation in the program has increased 14-fold.