This includes the devastating wildfires in Hawaii and California, the heavy rains that caused landslides and unprecedented flooding in Vermont and New Hampshire, and the drought conditions impacting numerous Midwestern states. Overall, these events have resulted in the loss of lives, homes, property, and food, causing significant economic effects on the impacted areas.
Disaster SNAP (D-SNAP) and other federal nutrition programs play a critical role in mitigating spikes in food insecurity during such challenging times. This is due to their ability to expedite and strengthen the response to disasters of various types.
USDA Guidelines on Using Existing Authority to Implement SFSP and SSO Meal DeliveryQ&As from the USDA on the logistics of delivering meals through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) while using existing authority.
After receiving thousands of supportive comments, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released their final rule, Community Eligibility Provision: Increasing Options for Schools, which provides 3,000 additional school districts the opportunity to offer nutritious meals to all students at no cost. Since its inception, the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) has been instrumental in eliminating stigma, reducing burdens on families and districts, and ensuring that all students have access to free healthy school meals, no matter their families’ household income level.
The final rule, effective October 26, 2023, lowers the eligibility threshold from 40 percent to 25 percent, thus increasing millions of students’ access to nutritious school meals. Newly eligible schools that want to participate this school year (SY 2023–24) are encouraged to work with their state agency to submit a waiver to USDA.
This month marks the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Maria, which had devastating impacts on Puerto Rico. Maria was one of the worst storms to ever hit the island and the deadliest natural disaster on a U.S. territory in 100 years. Since then, the island has seen earthquakes, tropical storms, and hurricanes, including Fiona in 2022, impacting and sometimes halting the recovery process for Maria. While the resilience of its residents continues, so does an increase in food insecurity.
Unlike in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands, in Puerto Rico residents – who are United States Citizens – do not receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Instead, Puerto Rico receives the Nutrition Assistance Program (NAP), which is structured differently from SNAP. This is a result of the Reagan administration’s severe budget cuts in the 1980s to what was then called the Food Stamp Program (FSP). Part of the budget cuts included excluding Puerto Rico from SNAP, which automatically reduced aid by 25 percent.
Congress must enact interim or full-year appropriations by October 1, the beginning of the federal fiscal year for agencies and programs whose continued operation depends on annual appropriation acts. A failure to do so creates a funding gap, at which point the federal government begins a “shutdown” of affected activities, including the furlough of nonessential personnel and curtailment of agency activities and services as we saw in 2019. To avoid a government shutdown, Congress may enact short-term measures, known as “continuing resolutions” (CRs), to keep the government funded for a few days, weeks, or months at previous levels until final budgeting decisions are made.If Congress fails to pass either full-year appropriations bills or a continuing resolution, the federal government will shut down all programs dependent on annual appropriations, including SNAP.
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The Thrifty Food Plan (TFP), which offers the lowest of the four major food plans the federal government uses, sets the maximum amount of food dollars Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants can receive. Despite a long overdue update of the TFP in 2021, the plan still leaves SNAP participants short of the benefit amounts sufficient for food for the entire month. This research brief explains why SNAP should switch from the TFP model to the more equitable Low-Cost Food Plan to equip participants with fuller plates and improved health and well-being.Read the research brief
- Fact Sheet
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 created a permanent nationwide Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (Summer EBT) Program. Beginning in 2024, states, territories, and Indian Tribal Organizations will be required to cover 50 percent of the Summer EBT administrative expenses from nonfederal sources. Careful planning and preparation by states and territories, and technical assistance by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (USDA FNS), are critical to ensure full implementation of Summer EBT in 2024. Learn more in FRAC’s new one-pager.Read the one-pager
- Fact Sheet
Millions of people who rely on support from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) have seen their benefits drop – in many cases, dramatically. As of March 1, 2023, all Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants have suffered cuts to their benefits each month as the temporary, pandemic-era SNAP boosts known as Emergency Allotments have come to an end. Combined with soaring food prices and skyrocketing heating, transportation, and housing costs, our nation is facing a hunger cliff. Find out how the hunger cliff has affected people in your state using FRAC’s state Hunger Cliff fact sheets.Find your state's fact sheet
- Fact Sheet
Time limits in SNAP harm women, LGBTQIA+ people, and their families. Taking away nutrition assistance will not help women and LGBTQIA+ people find jobs any faster; it will just increase hunger. As a nation, we should fight hunger by helping families struggling to make ends meet put food on the table. Congress should increase SNAP benefits so fewer families have to choose between food and shelter or other necessities and reduce inequities in SNAP that prevent many women, LGBTQIA+ people, and their families from accessing this critical program. SNAP needs to be protected and strengthened.Learn more