USDA Delays Release of Food Stamp Data, Citing Covid Pandemic

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The Trump administration delayed the release of fresh data on the number of Americans receiving food stamps, citing problems with reports it had received from states.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture last month released data for April showing the number of beneficiaries had jumped by 6.1 million in two months as the covid pandemic devastated the economy. May numbers will likely show a further increase in people enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the formal name for food stamps.

The department “identified significant issues with the accuracy of state-reported data for the month of May due to COVID-19-related complexities. Therefore, reliable program data for the month of May are not available at this time,” Pam Miller, administrator of the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, said in an email late Friday.

The USDA is “actively working with states to address these issues and will make the data available as soon as we can be confident of their accuracy and reliability,” Miller added.

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