The Biden administration has revised the nutrition standards of the food stamp program and prompted the
largest permanent increase to benefits in the program’s history, a move that will give poor people more
power to fill their grocery carts but add billions of dollars to the cost of a program that feeds one in eight
Under rules to be announced on Monday and put in place in October, average benefits will
rise more than 25 percent from pre pandemic levels. All 42 million people in the program will receive
The move does not require congressional approval, and unlike the large pandemic – era
expansions, which are starting to expire, the changes are intended to last. For at least a decade, critics of
the benefits have said they were too low to provide an adequate diet.
More than three quarters of households exhaust their benefits in the first half of the monthly cycle, and researchers have linked subsequent food shortages to problems as diverse as increased hospital admissions, more school
suspensions and lower SAT scores.
Under the new rules, average monthly benefits, $121 per person before the pandemic, will rise by $36. Although the increase may seem modest to middle – class families, proponents say it will reduce hunger, improve nutrition and lead to better health.
The additional benefits will have a positive impact on over 421,000 Mississippians.
Contact Jay Allen at [email protected]