WASHINGTON - The Biden administration on Monday announced a historic expansion to the nation’s food stamp program, a decision that will give more than 40 million Americans about 30% more to spend on groceries while racking up billions in costs to the program.
"To set SNAP families up for success, we need a Thrifty Food Plan that supports current dietary guidance on a budget," said Stacy Dean, deputy undersecretary for food, nutrition, and consumer services, in the detailed report. "Too many of our fellow Americans struggle to afford healthy meals. The revised plan is one step toward getting them the support they need to feed their families."
Average monthly benefits, which were $121 per person before the COVID pandemic, will increase by $36.24 per person, or $1.19 per day, totaling $157.24 monthly.
The changes, which do not require congressional approval, are based on updates the Department of Agriculture made to the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP), an estimate of the cost of a nutritious diet for a family of four.
Food stamps, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are used by more than 40 million Americans – or roughly 12% of the total U.S. population.
U.S. lawmakers passed the Farm Bill in 2018 which, among other things, directed the Department of Agriculture to re-evaluate the TFP no later than 2022. According to the department, the TFP has not been updated since 2006 despite major changes to dietary guidance, food prices, and what Americans purchase and eat.
FOX Business has reached out to the White House and Department of Agriculture for comment.
The New York Times first reported the developments.