The Biden administration has approved a significant and permanent increase in the levels of food stamp assistance (SNAP) available to needy families.
Starting in October, average benefits for food stamps will rise more than 25 percent above pre-pandemic levels.
The increased assistance will be available indefinitely to all 42 million SNAP beneficiaries.
The aid boost was first reported by The New York Times and the details were confirmed by a spokeswoman for the Department of Agriculture.
The aid boost is being packaged as a major revision of the USDA’s Thrifty Food Plan. In concrete terms, the average monthly per-person benefits will rise from $121 to $157.
The increase is part of a multi-pronged Biden administration effort to strengthen the country’s social safety net.
Poverty and food security activists maintain that longstanding inadequacies in that safety net were laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic, and current public health crisis.
Activists say the previous levels of pre-pandemic SNAP assistance simply weren’t enough, forcing many households to choose cheaper, less nutritious options or simply go hungry as the funds ran low toward the end of the month.