The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a food stamp initiative by the government, will increase this October. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the changes that families will expect after evaluating the program.
The SNAP initiative covers over 42 million people, and the estimate for the increase is that per eligible person will get $36.24 more per month. The amount will vary per state, but that is the average, ParentHerald.com reported.
According to a statement by Secretary Tom Vilsack, the increase is in keeping with the improvement that the country wants to see regarding the nation’s health, economy, and security. The government greenlit the increase to show that it is committed and invested in low-income families. Vilsack added that good nutrition and healthy food would help prevent diseases, reduce the cost of health care, and support the children’s dietary needs to develop as healthy adults.
The increase also comes years after academic experts, medical experts, and food security advocates have argued that the SNAP maximum amount is underestimated. They pointed out that the current amount given out to families does not cover what they need.
The increase marks a 25 percent jump from the current amount. The USDA said it might not be that significant, but it is the largest permanent increase since SNAP was established in 1975. The increase also became necessary because the families eligible for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of March 2020 by the Trump administration will no longer benefit from such a program by September 30.
If you are not yet a beneficiary of SNAP, you can check your local government’s official site. You may also call 211 to inquire if you are eligible. Once you become eligible, you will receive an EBT card, a debit card, to get your benefits every month. You can use the EBT at food banks, participating supermarkets, and other partner online grocery stores.