Food stamp benefits are increasing by 12.5 percent as families grapple with grocery prices that have skyrocketed under President Joe Biden.
Under the maximum benefit, a family of four on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will see their payments increase from $835 to $939 per month.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) noted the change would be implemented in October and last a year, CNN reported.
It is the largest annual percentage increase since the USDA’s implementation of the Thrifty Food Plan in 1975.
SNAP benefits are adjusted on what the Thrifty Food Plan determines a family of four can purchase on a healthy, low-budget diet. The benefits are updated annually based on the cost of the plan in June and take effect in October.
Since the cost of living has significantly jumped, SNAP benefits are increasing more than they ever have — in order to keep up with the high inflation that has occurred under the Biden administration.
While the increase in SNAP benefits is higher than the 11.4 percent rise in food prices since last year, grocery prices soared by a whopping 13.5 percent in August. Furthermore, food manufacturing executives do not expect grocery prices to drop anytime soon, Breitbart News noted.
This means that food stamp recipients’ purchasing power has eroded due to inflation, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) via Forbes.
“When inflation erodes the value of SNAP benefits during the year, households either have to spend more of their cash income on food or cut back on their food expenditures,” Joesph Llobrera, CBPP director of research, wrote.
Depending on the state, some food stamp recipients are still receiving a minimum of $95 in extra funds dues to the federal emergency SNAP allotment rolled out in April 2020 when most of the country was shut down due to the pandemic. However, the allotment will expire once the national emergency is declared over, which may occur at any point, the Associated Press reported.
Nearly 41 million Americans are on SNAP benefits, according to the most recent U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics. The average monthly payment for an individual is approximately $218.