On August 16, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that its reevaluation of the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) will result in an increase in average monthly Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits of $36.24 per person compared with pre-COVID-19 levels. Average SNAP benefits will rise from the pre-COVID-19 amount of $4.20 per person per day to $5.39. The change will be implemented October 1, 2021, the start of federal fiscal year 2022.
The 2018 Farm Bill directed USDA to undertake the TFP reevaluation by 2022 and every five years thereafter. President Biden prioritized the review in an Executive Order on January 22, 2021.
The revision to make the TFP better align with the costs of obtaining basic nutrition is long overdue. It is supported by a large body of research on flaws in the existing TFP package as well as feedback from SNAP customers.
Making SNAP benefits more adequate promotes health and well-being. It also generates economic activity and increases state and local tax revenues.
For additional background and updates, see FRAC’s SNAP Benefit Adequacy resource page and USDA’s TFP page.