SNAP Cost of Living Updates
We shared last year that starting October 1, the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) income guidelines and maximum benefit amounts were increased as part of the program’s annual cost of living update. Please help us share this information widely among your networks! It is important that information about SNAP be widely available so that everyone who qualifies for assistance through this program can get it.
Looking towards the Low-Cost Food Plan
While we are grateful for the annual cost of living updates that help SNAP benefits keep pace with inflation, these updates do not change the fact that SNAP benefits remain inadequate to support the nutritional needs of participants. SNAP benefit amounts are based on the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP), the lowest of four major food plans that the government uses to determine food costs. At current levels, SNAP participants receive an average of $6.20 per person per day, an amount far too low to support the sufficient, nutritious, varied, and culturally appropriate diet that people need to thrive. According to this brief recently published by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), “the maximum SNAP benefit does not cover the cost of a modestly priced meal in 78 percent of U.S. counties.”
Basing SNAP benefits on the Low-Cost Food Plan, which would still represent modestly priced shopping patterns, would more adequately reflect the cost of a healthy diet in the US and be a step toward ensuring that participants have access to the nutrition required for them to thrive. According to FRAC, moving to the Low-Cost Food Plan would result in households seeing an average increase $125. At the Coalition Against Hunger, we believe that all people have a right to the food they need to lead healthy lives. This is why moving to the Low-Cost Food Plan as the basis for SNAP benefits is one of our priorities in the upcoming Farm Bill.
Election Day, Tuesday November 7, is around the corner! If you aren’t registered to vote, it’s not too late, but you need to act fast and register by the deadline, Monday October 23. You can register online, by mail, or in person at your county voter registration office. Monday October 23 is also the deadline if you need to update your voter registration. Check out the ACLU of Pennsylvania for more information about your right to vote, important deadlines, and frequently asked questions.