WASHINGTON — The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture announced Wednesday morning that emergency benefit increases have reached $2 billion per month for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households across the country.
The emergency benefits brought on by the coronavirus pandemic represent a 40% increase in overall monthly food stamp benefits, Secretary Sonny Perdue said.
“These are unprecedented times for American families who are facing joblessness and hunger. USDA is providing a 40% increase in SNAP benefits to ensure that low-income individuals have enough food to feed themselves and their families during this national emergency,” said Secretary Perdue.
All SNAP households that are receiving less than the maximum benefit will receive the emergency allotment supplement to bring them up to the maximum.
For example, according to the USDA, a family with two adults, three children, and no income can currently receive the maximum benefit of $768. However, due to reportable income and other factors, the average 5-person household actually receives just $528. The USDA announcement said these emergency benefits would give the average 5-person household an additional $240 monthly in food purchasing power, bringing the average household up to the same benefit level as households already receiving the maximum.
“President Trump is taking care of America’s working-class families who have been hit hard with economic distress due to the coronavirus. Ensuring all households receive the maximum allowable SNAP benefit is an important part of President Trump’s whole of America response to the coronavirus,” Sonny Perdue added.