By Rachel Puryear
The Biden Administration just announced that Americans receiving food benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will soon receive a 25% increase in their benefits. This will be effective October 2021, and will automatically and indefinitely apply to all recipients of the SNAP program.
Although food benefits through SNAP have been inadequate for many recipient families for a long time, the pandemic likely made this inadequacy more obvious. This is partly because many people who had never needed public assistance found themselves on it for the first time during Covid. There is nothing like needing food benefits for oneself to realize how not-very-far the benefits go.
Inadequacy of food benefits has pressed many needy families to buy poor quality, low-nutrient food to stretch limited food dollars, and/or not have enough food to avoid being hungry at the end of the month. The increase in benefits will help families have enough food, and better food.
About 42 million Americans receive SNAP benefits. Recipients include people of all ethnic backgrounds, seniors, children, families, persons with disabilities, working people whose earnings fall below the poverty level despite full time employment, people who lost their jobs, and people receiving benefits for the short term and for the long term.
Strong social safety nets save lives, and pull/keep people out of poverty. Accordingly, this news is welcome news. Let’s keep it up.
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