By ASHRAF KHALIL and JOSH BOAK

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s administration has approved a significant and permanent increase in the levels of food aid available to needy families — the largest single increase in the program’s history.

Starting in October, average benefits for food stamps — officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP — will rise more than 25 percent above pre-pandemic levels. The increased assistance will be available indefinitely to all 42 million SNAP beneficiaries.

The increase coincides with the end of a 15 percent boost in SNAP benefits that was ordered as a pandemic protection measure. That benefit expires at the end of September.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that with the change, the US “will do a better job of providing healthy food for low-income families.”

The aid boost is being packaged a major revision to the USDA’s Thrifty Food Plan, which estimates the cost to purchase groceries for a family of four and guides the way the government calculates benefits. In practical terms, the average monthly per-person benefits for qualified recipients will rise from $121 to $157.

The increase is projected to cost an additional $20 billion per year, but it won’t have to be approved by Congress. A farm law passed in 2018 by the then-GOP led Congress and signed by former President Donald Trump already directed the department to reassess the Thrifty Food Plan.

(1) comment

Jimzan

Biden..buying more votes...because his policies are "Huge" Failures.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.