Pandemic boosts U.S. food stamp spending by 89%

(central square) – Spending on food stamps increased by $53.5 billion (up 89%) in the two years of the pandemic. By comparison, the cost of the entire program during the 2009 Great Recession.

US spending on nutritional supplement programs increased 88.5% from $60.3 billion in 2019 to $113.8 billion in 2021. Spending on the SNAP program peaked at $79.8 billion in 2013 before declining six years later.

Average monthly benefits per capita increased 68% from 2019 to 217.88 from $129.83 to $217.88 per capita from 2019 to 2021. numbers From the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Federal programs help supplement the food budgets of eligible people.SNAP provides benefits to eligible low-income individuals through electronic benefit transfer cards that can be used to purchase food in stores.

Emergency orders are helping some states garner more federal support. For example, by implementing the COVID-19 emergency, “Connecticut also received and distributed $748 million in emergency SNAP benefits,” Connecticut Gov. said on June 28th. presidential decree“The continued receipt of these funds is essential to offsetting the impact of food insecurity in Connecticut during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

According to the USDA, approximately 35.7 million people nationwide took advantage of SNAP benefits in 2019. This is his lowest number since 2013. According to the USDA, participation in the program will grow to 39.9 million in 2020 and 41.6 million in 2021. document.

Expect more people to join SNAP in the coming years.

USDA projects that by 2023, attendance will grow from 42.3 million in 2022 to an average of 43.5 million monthly participants.

“This post-recession rise in SNAP is consistent with participation trends following past economic crises,” a USDA official said in its 2023 edition. budget“While attendance is expected to increase, overall costs of the program are expected to decrease.”

The budget expects lower costs to come from the expiration of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the expiration of a 15% benefit increase from the Consolidated Appropriations Act at the end of fiscal year 2021 and the American Rescue Plan at the end of fiscal year 2021. increase. .

Emergency approval payments provided by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and other program exemptions are expected to continue for the duration of the public health emergency, possibly through most of 2022, according to the budget.

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