With all the developments in Afghanistan and Haiti, you may have missed this historic announcement out of Washington: The Biden administration has approved updates to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), giving families who currently receive food stamps the largest single increase in benefits to date.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday released a reevaluation of the Thrifty Food Plan, which is used to calculate SNAP benefits, based on changes to nutritional guidance, food prices and what Americans eat.
- Its new calculations mean that the average SNAP benefit will increase by $36.24 per person, per month, beginning Oct. 1. The impact will be felt by many, as the Agriculture Department says the program helps feed more than 42 million Americans (or 1 in 8) each month.
- The exact amount will vary by state — you can check on the estimated increase your state will receive here.
- Plus, check out this SNAP eligibility guide to see current maximum household benefit amounts and learn how they're calculated.
"A modernized Thrifty Food Plan is more than a commitment to good nutrition — it's an investment in our nation's health, economy, and security," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a news release. "Ensuring low-income families have access to a healthy diet helps prevent disease, supports children in the classroom, reduces health care costs, and more. And the additional money families will spend on groceries helps grow the food economy, creating thousands of new jobs along the way."
The Biden administration is working to strengthen the country's social safety net and has long aimed to increase food stamp benefits.
Click here to learn more about the Thrifty Food Plan and how it impacts food assistance.
This story originally appeared in the Morning Edition live blog.