The Biden administration will permanently increase benefits from the food stamp program by nearly 30%, the New York Times reports.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program currently benefits 42 million Americans, and roughly 43% of program beneficiaries are children. Administration officials said boosting the benefits will help improve nutrition and reduce hunger.
"To set SNAP families up for success, we need a Thrifty Food Plan that supports current dietary guidance on a budget," said Stacy Dean, deputy undersecretary for food, nutrition, and consumer services. "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."
Starting in October, average monthly benefits will increase to $157 per person; previously, the amount was $121 per month. The new maximum amount will be $835 a month for a family of four, and the amount given is based on a sliding scale.
The changes follow updates made by the Department of Agriculture to the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP). Based on its periodic review of data, the agency increased its estimate of the cost of a nutritious diet for a family of four.