The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the nation’s first line of defense against hunger and a critical resource for the people Philabundance serves. While food banks like Philabundance do incredible work to feed people, strong nutrition programs like SNAP are crucial to meet the need. However, the SNAP allotment has not been enough to get most families through the month and inadequate benefits have limited the program’s ability to do more to improve food security, health, and well-being for families in need.
This summer, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the largest permanent increase to SNAP benefits in history. Beginning in October, the average SNAP benefit (excluding temporary increases related to COVID-19 relief) increased by about $36 per person per month––a more than 25% increase in the pre-pandemic SNAP benefit amount. This decision was made to better reflect modern nutrition standards and the cost of a healthy diet.
Anti-hunger advocates have long pushed for a boost to SNAP benefits, arguing that the allotment was too low to provide an adequate diet. Philabundance is grateful for this decision which will undoubtedly have a meaningful impact on the people we serve and will go a long way to ensure that tens of millions of households across the country can better afford to put food on the table and improve their health and well-being.
While this benefits boost is a significant improvement, there is more work to be done to strengthen SNAP and other hunger relief programs. Philabundance will continue to advocate for policies that reduce food insecurity and do our part to bring needed food into the communities we serve.