The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced a 15 percent increase in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits through September 2021.
While disclosing this in a statement on Friday March 26, 2021, USDA said it would provide an estimated $3.5 billion to households experiencing food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the department, the funding is made possible by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
The plan invests federal resources to reduce hunger across the country. It will also strengthen the food supply chain, to “invest in rural America, and provide long-awaited support to underserved, socially disadvantaged communities”.
The 15 percent increase in SNAP benefits will provide about $28 more per person, per month, or more than $100 more per month for a household of four, in additional SNAP benefits.
“We cannot sit by and watch food insecurity grow in the United States,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
“The American Rescue Plan brings help to those hurting the most due to the pandemic. It increases SNAP benefits so households can afford to put food on the table.
“It invests in working people and small towns and small businesses to get the economy back on track. And it makes the most meaningful investments in generations to reduce poverty.”
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America.