SNAP increases benefit costs for those nation-wide
AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - As of October 1, there has been an increase to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP increasing benefits for those nation-wide.
This comes from the 2018 Farm Bill, where U.S. Department of Agriculture conducted a data-driven review of The Thrifty Food Plan, which is used to determine SNAP benefits.
The increase is the first update since it was first introduced in 1975, the update reflects current cost realities.
“Due to inflation, increase in cost etc., the benefit amounts are going to increase on average about $36 per person, so for a household of four we’re looking at an increase of over $200 a month,” said William D’Auito, associate commissioner for eligibility operations, Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
He says this is just a supplemental program, so people may still need help from other places.
“Many are working, so certainty the snap program is a supplemental program to help offset the food cost for a family or for individuals, so certainly when they have more money to purchase foods it’s going to be more helpful for them,” said D’Auito.
The executive director of the High Plains Food Bank says they are here to help with that assistance, but says this increase will help those in the area.
He mentions many people come in and say their SNAP benefits usually last them until the middle of the month and then they have to turn to places like the food bank, so he hopes with this increase it will allow for more access to food.
They say they had someone came in saying, although they are working it is still a struggle to have food.
“Over the past two years, their job wages increased 6 percent, but at the same time, their cost of their insurance, their utilities, increased all their expenses 15 percent, so while we see wages rising in jobs, available costs still continue to exceed those and that’s a worry for us,” said Zack Wilson, executive director, High Plains Food Bank.
Wilson says this is a great increase, but there may still be room for improvement.
“Yeah that’s an increase, but with the costs that it takes to buy food, to buy product,s it still doesn’t go very far, you know overall I mean just when we’ve seen costs increase, but we were excited because what we do here it’s all about you know helping folks out that need food assistance, that need that extra bump and this is one of those tools that we have people are receiving these benefits that they can help increase their food for their families,” said Wilson.
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission says this increase to the benefits is automatic and current recipients do not have to do anything to get the increase.
Recipients should start to see the adjustment on their normal benefit date.
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