Foodlink lauds USDA’s update to Thrifty Food Plan, SNAP increases

Foodlink released the following statement on Aug. 16, 2021 after the USDA announced a significant change to how SNAP benefits are calculated for millions of Americans:

Today, the USDA announced a long-awaited modernization of the Thrifty Food Plan — a formula that helps determine the value of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for eligible families. This update will come much closer to reflecting the real costs of buying, preparing, and eating healthy meals. The resulting improvements in SNAP will have a huge impact on reducing food insecurity and poverty in our communities.

Foodlink stands ready to serve the community – we distributed more than 25 million pounds of food last year alone – but we are grateful for the investment in SNAP because it is nearly 10 times more effective in putting food on the table than any charitable system could be. In fact, data show that SNAP is one of the nation’s most efficient anti-poverty programs. It gives individuals and families the dignity of choice when shopping for food, and puts healthy food within reach for families who otherwise couldn’t afford it.

Locally, more than 150,000 individuals – adults, seniors and children – in our 10-county service area will benefit from this new, data-driven adjustment, according to the state’s latest SNAP caseload statistics. The timing of this increase will help offset the looming benefits cliff for thousands due to the expiration of “Emergency Allotment” SNAP benefits, and other temporary SNAP increases, in many states. However, it is important to note that this reassessment of SNAP of was set in motion with the 2018 Farm Bill, which received bipartisan support from Congress. This is not simply a pandemic-related increase to a federal assistance program. This is a long-overdue investment in public health, which will have a lasting impact on health care costs, educational outcomes and the economy. We applaud the Biden administration and all who worked on this important update to a program as critical as SNAP.

More from the New York Times: Biden Administration Prompts Largest Permanent Increase in Food Stamps

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