On Monday, the Biden administration provided the largest boost to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in modern US history. Impacting more than 40 million Americans, SNAP benefits will increase by an average of 25% above where they were before the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the first time that the purchasing power of the program has been boosted in such a manner since the 1970s.
“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,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.
“And the additional money families will spend on groceries helps grow the food economy, creating thousands of new jobs along the way.”
These recent changes were prompted by a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in June. The study found that nearly 90% of SNAP recipients dealt with "some type of barrier to achieving a healthy diet throughout the month." Adding on, more than 60% of SNAP recipients reported that affordability was the biggest obstacle to having a healthier diet. Not to be forgotten, research participants also said that a lack of cooking equipment and storage also played a part in not having a healthier diet. As a result, the average benefit, $121, will be boosted by $36. The Biden administration has labeled this change as the "Thrifty Food Plan."
“To set SNAP families up for success, we need a Thrifty Food Plan that supports current dietary guidance on a budget,” Stacy Dean of the U.S. Agricultural Department said.
“Too many of our fellow Americans struggle to afford healthy meals. The revised plan is one step toward getting them the support they need to feed their families.”