Today, the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) delivered their re-evaluation of the Thrifty Food Plan, used to determine Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. From this, the average SNAP benefit, separate from additional pandemic relief funds, will increase by $36.24 per person per month or $1.19 per day for Fiscal Year 2022, starting October 1, 2021. This increase in benefits marks the first time the plan's purchasing power has changed since its introduction in 1975.
The change was driven by four key factors included in the 2018 Farm Bill:
Rev. Douglas Greenaway, President & CEO of the National WIC Association (NWA), issued the following statement in response:
"The revised 2021 Thrifty Food Plan puts more food in reach for families participating in SNAP. Evidence consistently shows that SNAP benefit levels are far too low to provide a sensible and nutritious diet, even with households contributing their funds toward groceries. SNAP is a powerful tool providing Americans with the resources to combat hunger and food insecurity. Research has shown that SNAP not only increases access to healthy foods but is successful in lifting families out of poverty and reducing healthcare costs. This critical review of the thrifty food plan and increase in SNAP benefit level will bolster Americans' food and economic security, even beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The National WIC Association commends USDA for moving this process forward. We also look forward to the forthcoming review of the WIC food packages and expect this review will lead to the enhanced value of the healthy WIC nutrition benefit, further strengthening American families' nutrition security. We look forward to seeing the advancement and expansion of the WIC food packages to reflect the most current nutrition science, participant needs, and cultural eating patterns."