The Food and Nutrition Service recently announced that SNAP recipients, or those receiving food stamps nationwide, will no longer receive pandemic-era boosts after this month’s payments.
The additional amount from the emergency allotments was $95 or the maximum amount permitted for their household size, whichever was higher.
However, the Department of Agriculture wants to increase food stamp recipients’ access to fruits and vegetables to promote healthy eating habits.
SNAP Recipients to Face Other Reductions by March
Food and Nutrition Service said the most frequent source of income for SNAP households is Social Security, which is received by nearly half of those who use SNAP. By March, most families should prepare for further decreases in their SNAP payments.
That’s as a result of Social Security’s sharp cost-of-living increase, which took effect last month. Some Social Security families can completely lose their eligibility for SNAP benefits.
NPR also mentioned that 32 states plus D.C., Guam, and the United States Benefits in the Virgin Islands, where the boost is still being provided, will resume to pre-pandemic levels in March. Benefits are returning to normal in South Carolina this month. Everywhere else, emergency allotments had already come to an end.
About one in five of the 42 million SNAP recipients are non-disabled individuals without children, people with severe disabilities, seniors on fixed incomes, and members of working families.
ALSO READ: SNAP Benefits: Frequently Asked Questions
Food Stamps to Promote Healthy Eating Habits
Meanwhile, the USDA’s new food stamp program that encourages healthy eating habits among Americans would be funded under a $25 million USDA investment, which will be carried out in three states.
GoBankingRates, citing USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service’s news release, mentioned that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – also known as food stamp program – would be expanded to give the three states funding and support to run Electronic Healthy Incentives Pilot, or eHIP, for SNAP participants.
The USDA accepts state applications, and the three will be announced later. The American Rescue Plan provides funding for eHIP. State applications must be submitted by March 31, 2023.
The purpose of the incentive programs offered by the USDA is to persuade SNAP beneficiaries to purchase healthy meals by offering them vouchers, discounts, gift cards, extra food items, or additional money. The ultimate objective is to increase food and nutrition security by facilitating SNAP families’ access to the foods necessary for their members’ best health and wellbeing.
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