Biden administration approves largest increase in SNAP benefits
The Biden administration will announce Monday that it has revised the Thrifty Food Plan that sets nutrition standards for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and that average benefits will rise more than 25% compared to prepandemic levels, The New York Times reported today, Aug. 15.
The increase in benefits would begin in October.
The increase will be the largest in the history of the food stamp program and will add $20 billion per year to the cost.
In apparent anticipation of the increase, Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member John Boozman, R-Ark., and House Agriculture ranking member Glenn “GT” Thompson, asked the Government Accountability Office to analyze USDA’s update of the Thrifty Food Plan.
In a letter to Comptroller General Dodaro, the Republican agriculture leaders wrote, “The complexity of this process, and its likely impacts, create an urgent need for scrutiny, particularly on the heels of significant nutrition-related pandemic spending that has continued without rigorous oversight.”
“Without question, this review and update will have obvious and considerable impacts on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. While we expect this process will elicit an increase to the cost of the thrifty food plan — and subsequently monthly SNAP allotments — questions remain as to how the department has gone about this review and update, including their methodologies, administrative practices, and legal authorities.”
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