The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is increasing monthly benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by roughly 40 percent in all 50 states. According to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, SNAP emergency benefits are currently at $2 billion per month.
Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, states are allowed to help households address temporary food needs by providing emergency allotments. These emergency allotments are not allowed to increase a given household’s monthly SNAP benefit allotment beyond “the applicable maximum monthly allotment for the household size.”
The emergency allotments have added approximately $2 billion to the existing $4.5 billion already allocated to SNAP households per month.
“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,” Perdue said in a statement. “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.”
SNAP households that are eligible for less than the maximum benefit will be receive the emergency benefit, bringing them up to the maximum. States are currently allowed to raise the maximum SNAP benefits for households for a period of two months, and the USDA is reportedly working to extend the emergency allotments on a month-by-month basis.