The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture announced this week that emergency benefit increases for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) have reached $2 billion per month.
Secretary Sonny Perdue said the emergency benefits “represent a 40% increase in overall monthly SNAP benefits, significantly increasing food purchasing power for American families.”
The increase is available to households across all 50 states and 3 territories. to increase food security during the coronavirus national emergency.
“These are unprecedented times for American families who are facing joblessness and hunger. USDA is providing a 40% increase in SNAP benefits to ensure that low-income individuals have enough food to feed themselves and their families during this national emergency,” said Secretary Perdue. “President Trump is taking care of America’s working-class families who have been hit hard with economic distress due to the coronavirus. Ensuring all households receive the maximum allowable SNAP benefit is an important part of President Trump’s whole of America response to the coronavirus.”
Currently, a household with two adults, 3 children, and no income can receive the maximum benefit of $768. However, due to reportable income and other factors, the average 5-person household receives significantly less, $528. These emergency benefits would provide the average 5-person household an additional $240 monthly in food purchasing power, bringing the average household up to the same benefit level as households already receiving the maximum.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), signed into law by President Trump, provided for the issuance of emergency allotments in response to COVID-19. Across the United States, emergency allotments total nearly $2 billion per month, which is in addition to approximately $4.5 billion in benefits already provided to SNAP households each month.
All SNAP households that are eligible to receive less than the maximum benefit will receive the emergency allotment supplement to bring them up to the maximum. By law, SNAP households are not permitted to receive more than the maximum allotment. SNAP emergency allotments allow states to raise benefits to the maximum amount for the household’s size for up to two months.