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Democrats playing hard to protect SNAP benefits in this year’s farm bill

As wider Republican initiatives to cut government expenditure got enmeshed with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP benefits).

Democrats are ready to fight tooth and nail in the House and Senate to protect SNAP benefits in this year’s farm legislation.

Termination Of Pandemic-Era SNAP

Democrats argue that the termination of pandemic-era SNAP increases this month is an already excessive reduction for the typical program participant and that any additional reductions would be inhumane.

The must-pass farm bill allocates around three-quarters of its budget to food aid programs, which must be evaluated and reauthorized every five years, along with farmer subsidies and conservation initiatives.

The struggle that surrounded the passage of the 2018 agricultural bill, during which Republicans insisted on tightening the work requirements for SNAP recipients, is being set up by this year’s fight over SNAP benefits.

With the expiration of higher benefits in March, the average SNAP recipient’s monthly benefits were reduced by $83 per month.

Advocates are worried about a ‘hunger cliff,’ where a large number of people suddenly find themselves unable to buy basic food.

As a consequence of an adjustment to the Thrifty Food Plan, the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) method for determining the cost of food, mostly due to inflation, benefits increased by 22.5 percent in 2021. SNAP recipients currently receive about $6 per day per person in payments to help with food expenses.

The USDA offers four food plans: Thrifty, Low-cost, Moderate-cost, and Liberal, with each level of the plan reflecting the cost of a more balanced diet. The cheapest level is the Thrifty Food Plan.

The Food Research and Action Center and a number of Democrats have advocated for utilizing the more expensive low-cost plan when determining SNAP payouts rather than the economical level. Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) presented a bill to do this in the 117th Congress.

Read more: SNAP benefits: 2.6 Million people in New York who are food insecure have begun using food pantries

 SNAP Benefits Decrease In 2023 

As wider Republican initiatives to cut government expenditure got enmeshed with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

In the meantime, SNAP benefits increased by about 13.6% after the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was approved by Congress in 2009.

Analysts think that the SNAP payment 2023 ceased too soon to have a significant impact despite the boost’s temporary nature.

All beneficiaries’ SNAP payment levels were decreased on November 1, 2013. Almost $5 billion less was spent overall across the country. A reduction of up to $1.70 per recipient results from this.

A family of four received benefits that were decreased by about $36, or about 21 meals per month. However, the budgets of other programs did not make up for the impact of the reduction. This is so that kids who are not in school can’t take advantage of school meals.

Hence, as a result of reducing SNAP payments to fund other programs, there was an increase in kid food insecurity.

Read more: SNAP benefits: Reduced payments are putting low-income individuals at risk of hunger

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