Approximately 25 million people are set to get an increase in their food stamp benefits starting this month, according to an announcement by the Biden administration.
The recipients of this financial assistance will be among the lowest-income food stamp beneficiaries who were not part of last year’s benefit increase due to Trump’s manner of federal coronavirus relief provision.
After the changes Biden has introduced, the families that were left out of the $95 increase in monthly benefits will now get a boost from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP.
The decision came following President Joe Biden’s executive order, which he issued soon after assuming power. The move will result in a $1 billion increase in the number of benefits issued every month.
Ellen Vollinger, the legal director of Food Research & Action Center, said that with this policy in place, “people will have a greater opportunity to afford the basics they need.”
She is the legal director for the advocacy group, Food Research & Action Center.
The policy can be traced back to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which Congress passed back in March 2020. The act increased the household’s food stamp allocation to the maximum amount for the family size.
Under this legal provision, $29 billion more in benefits have been distributed.
However, around 40% of the households that were already getting the greatest possible benefits did not increase their payments. That was because Trump implemented a relief provision.
An estimated 40% of these households have children, 20% have an elderly member, and 15% have a disabled person.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the economic turbulence that followed, there has been an increase in the hunger crisis in the US, and 41.4 million people got food stamps in November compared to the 36.9 million that received the assistance in February last year, just before the pandemic started.
This is according to recent data released by the US Department of Agriculture.
Additionally, there are lots of Americans showing up at food pantries to find food for themselves and their families. Data shows that food banks are serving 55% more customers today than before the start of the pandemic.
In fact, they expect to distribute more meals in 2021 than they did in 2020. This is according to Feeding America, which is the largest hunger-relief organization in the country.
Estimates indicate that about 22.8 million people, which is about 10.7% of adults, live in households that sometimes or often lacked enough to eat in the past one week. The Household Pulse Survey from the US Census Bureau released this figure.
The study was done in the first two weeks of March this year. Consequently, the number is now closer to the figure obtained in early October.
That was before Congress passed a $900 billion relief package towards the end of the year.
The deal introduced in December included a 15% increase in food stamp benefits for all households. That will go on through June.
The arrangement will include a $600 stimulus check, $300 in weekly federal unemployment benefits boost, and the extension of two major pandemic unemployment programs.
President Joe Biden signed a $1.9 trillion relief package last month, effectively extending the 15% increase in food stamps through September. It also offers a $1,400 stimulus payment and supports the ongoing unemployment enhancement programs to early September.