On Monday, August 16, 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a re-evaluation of the Thrifty Food Plan, which is used to calculate Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. As a result of this re-evaluation, the average SNAP benefit–excluding additional funds provided as part of COVID-19 pandemic relief–will increase beginning on October 1, 2021.
Under the new SNAP rules, average benefits will rise more than 25% from pre-pandemic levels. More specifically, the average monthly per-person benefits will rise from $121 to $157, a $36 increase. This increased assistance will be available indefinitely to all SNAP participants.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR SNAP RETAILERS
The increase in SNAP benefits could mean new opportunities for your business, including:
› INCREASED REVENUE: Increased SNAP benefits means more money to spend at SNAP-authorized retailers, PLUS more residual sales of non-SNAP items.
›INCREASED TRAFFIC: More SNAP recipients in your community will rely on your business to provide their families with nutritious foods on a regular basis.
›INCREASED RECOGNITION: Providing a needed service for your community can increase awareness of and loyalty to your business.
The Thrifty Food Plan was first set in 1975 and had not grown since then, other than being adjusted for inflation. As directed by Congress in the 2018 Farm Bill and with the support of President Biden’s January Executive Order, USDA conducted a data-driven review of the Thrifty Food Plan to strengthen the country’s social safety net, as well as reflect notable shifts in the food marketplace and consumers’ circumstances.
The updated Thrifty Food Plan will allow SNAP recipients to afford healthy foods. Recent evidence consistently shows that benefit levels are too low to provide a realistic, healthy diet. A USDA study published in 2021 found that nearly nine out of 10 SNAP participants reported facing barriers to achieving a healthy diet, with the most common barrier being the cost of healthy foods.
Are you already approved with FNS and ready to help your community by accepting SNAP benefits? Sign up for easy, reliable EBT processing with goEBT today!