ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The USDA has released a U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits Q&A guide on the SNAP increase taking place October 1. The guide explains how and when SNAP benefits change, why they’re changing and how much they will increase.
In August, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a 21% increase in benefits under SNAP, marking the first permanent increase to the benefits since the program was introduced in 1975. More than 42 million Americans, or one in eight, rely on SNAP each month.
USDA said the increase is a result of a data-driven review of the Thrifty Food Plan, which is used to calculate SNAP benefits.
“A modernized Thrifty Food Plan is more than a commitment to good nutrition—it’s an investment in our nation’s health, economy and security,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Ensuring low-income families have access to a healthy diet helps prevent disease, supports children in the classroom, reduces health-care costs, and more. And the additional money families will spend on groceries helps grow the food economy, creating thousands of new jobs along the way.”
Out of the more than 150,000 convenience stores in the United States, more than 111,000 participate in SNAP—representing about 45% of all retail outlets authorized to accept SNAP benefits. Convenience stores are often the only establishments easily accessible by walking or public transportation, or the only food retail locations open for business with extended or 24-hour service. For more information on NACS and the convenience industry’s support of SNAP, click here.