Forty-two million Americans will see an increase in the money they can spend to buy groceries. This comes as the Biden administration has approved the largest permanent increase to food stamp benefits.
President Joe Biden is yet to make a formal announcement regarding the increase by Monday. According to reports, there could be a $36 increase from the $121 currently used by the people under the food stamp program. If this is true, it is a 25 percent jump from the pre-pandemic average. A family of four can see a possible weekly cost of $193 from the current $159.
Supporters of the possible increase said that although it might not be much, it is something. The amount can help alleviate the financial burdens caused by the pandemic. Also, the families under the program can remain eating healthy despite the small budget.
The food stamp increase will most likely take effect in October, as per a knowledgeable source about the plans. The food stamp increase no longer requires Congressional approval, so if Biden will release the complete information and guidelines about this, it is already set in stone.
The first time that the food stamp program was looked into was in 2018 after Congress passed a law ordering a review of the scheme. When Biden took office, he asked the Department of Agriculture to speed up on reviewing the matter.
The food stamps program, which is formally known as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, costs around $79 billion to run annually. With the latest increase, it is expected to add $20 billion more annually.
Aside from the increase in the amount of food stamps for those under the program, the Biden administration also looked into other areas to help low- and middle-income Americans with their expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the efforts included increasing the child tax credit payments and unemployment benefits until September this year.