On Monday, August 16, 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a re-evaluation of the Thrifty Food Plan, used to calculate Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. As a result, for the first time in more than 45 years, the Thrifty Food Plan is being updated, and the average SNAP benefit will increase for the Fiscal Year 2022 beginning on Oct. 1, 2021. The reevaluation of the plan was mandated by the bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill and directed by an Executive Order signed by President Biden.
The average SNAP benefit will increase by $36.24 per person, per month, or $1.19 per day, beginning on Oct. 1, 2021. In its re-evaluation, USDA used data based on the four factors identified in the 2018 Farm Bill: current food prices, what Americans typically eat, dietary guidance, and the nutrients in food items.
The plan was calculated using updated purchasing data – collected from stores versus self-reported by households – to reflect the current price of foods in today’s marketplace. The revised Thrifty Food Plan also includes a modest increase in calories to reflect the latest data and support an active lifestyle.
The leading nutrition advocacy group, the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), praised the action pointing out that SNAP serves as the nation’s first line of defense against hunger, saying, “this historic increase in program benefits will go a long way in ensuring tens of millions of households across the country can better afford to put nutritious food on the table.” They said that research shows cost is the biggest barrier to eating healthy while on SNAP.
Here are the state-by-state average increases.