Come October, the 42 million people receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, will get over a 25 percent increase in benefits, the largest single increase in the program’s history. Thanks to the GOP controlled Congress who passed the 2018 Farm Bill and TFG signing it into law, President Biden will not have to go through Congress to implement the increase in benefits. “President Joe Biden’s Jan. 22 Executive Order also directed the USDA to conduct a data-driven review of the Thrifty Food Plan, which has resulted in the first purchasing power cost adjustment in the plan since it was introduced in 1975.”
Besides increasing the dollar amounts families will receive, revisions to SNAP also include healthier food choices. For example, “the revised plan includes more fish and red and orange vegetables aligning with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025.” Healthier foods generally cost more to purchase. The USDA published a study that found nearly nine out of 10 SNAP recipients reported facing barriers to achieving a healthy diet, mostly due to the cost of healthy foods. With the increase in benefits, families can make healthier food choices without breaking the bank.
“Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, I think there’s a shared understanding of the importance of this program,” Vilsack said in a conference call with reporters.
The increase is projected to cost an additional $20 billion per year.