There is great news coming out of Washington this morning for all those who struggle to keep food on the table for their families.
The food stamp program is about to be revised, and it is the highest increase we have seen since the pandemic started.
[This is a] move that will give poor people more power to fill their grocery carts but [adds] billions of dollars to the cost of a program that feeds one in eight Americans.The New York Times
It’s no surprise that benefits have historically been too little to actually cover the cost of food for an entire month.
Food is hella expensive, and it takes a huge chunk out of the monthly money budget just to stay afloat.
Oftentimes, fresh fruit and veggies have to go by the wayside for the less expensive processed food.
Researchers have linked subsequent food shortages to problems as diverse as increased hospital admissions, more school suspensions and lower SAT scores.The New York Times
Under these NEW food benefits, however, people are going to see an increase that they desperately need!
And, even better, ALL 42 million Americans that are on assistance will receive this additional aid!
Unlike the pandemic-era expansions that we have seen, which are now ending, this food assistance program is designed to be a permanent thing.
Under the new rules, average monthly benefits, $121 per person before the pandemic, will rise by $36.The New York Times
To the average middle-class family, this increase may seem small. BUT, it is going to mean that some people can now stretch their food further.
Hey, they may even be able to throw in some healthier food, which maybe they weren’t able to do before.
We may have a Constitution and a Declaration of Independence, but if we had 42 million Americans who were going hungry, really hungry, they wouldn’t be happy and there would be political instabilityTom Vilsack, Agriculture Secretary
This move to improve the food assistance program does NOT require Congressional approval, so it’s a sure thing that is going to go into effect in October.
The Republican Congress in 2018 can really be thanked for this program. They initially called for a review of the program. They gave the Department of Agriculture 4 years to get their s*** together.
In January, President Biden urged the department to speed up the process so that benefits “reflect the true cost of a basic healthy diet.”The New York Times
Now, of course there are some opponents of the program. They say that it isn’t meant to supply an entire household’s diet needs, only part of them.
But, it’s a start.
This increase in food benefits will include older adults, disabled people, poor workers, long-term welfare recipients, and children. They need the help, and they need it now.