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SNAP Benefits to Increase in Fiscal 2021
USAgNet - 07/30/2020

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service released its June 2020 Cost of Foods Report, announcing a more than 5% increase in the cost of the Thrifty Food Plan from last year. This increase is more than double the 20-year annual average increase of around 2%. Based on this new update, beginning Oct. 1 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants' maximum monthly benefit allotment will be at the highest level in the history of the program.

"The Thrifty Food Plan is designed to adjust to changing economic conditions and support Americans during tough times," said FNS Administrator Pam Miller. "This adjustment will not only help SNAP participants during this unprecedented crisis but will also support the American farmers, ranchers, fishers, and producers who are working hard throughout this pandemic to keep our grocery stores stocked with nutritious, domestic products."

The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, which governs SNAP, requires that the average cost of foods in the marketplace be used to adjust the maximum SNAP benefit allotments from year-to-year. The food costs reported in June of a given fiscal year are used to calculate the SNAP maximum allotments for the next fiscal year (October through September).

The new maximum benefit -- or allotment -- for a household of four will be $680, an approximate 5.3% increase over the current maximum allotment of $646. Current SNAP recipients may see an increase in benefits beginning in October, if there are no changes in their household circumstances.

This adjustment in SNAP benefits complements the many actions USDA's Food and Nutrition Service has taken to date to help American families put food on the table during the coronavirus pandemic.

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