Will Inflation Cause an Increase in Food Stamps?

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According to Supermarket News, that was the highest gain in 43 years and even beat the 9.1% general inflation rate.

For Americans who receive assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps, this year's increase in food costs makes an already difficult situation much more difficult.

Although SNAP payments are increased annually for inflation, the cost-of-living adjustment for the current fiscal year is based on prices from 2021, which were substantially lower than they are now.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture manages SNAP, a programme that enables low-income Americans to buy food. The USDA website states that the organisation modifies the maximum SNAP allotments, deductions, and income eligibility requirements at the start of each fiscal year, which lasts from October 1 through July 1.

The cost of a market basket for a family of four is determined by the USDA's Thrifty Food Plan. TFP is a USDA estimate of the cost to a household to provide affordable, wholesome meals. 

Every June, the maximum allocations are determined using this cost. Therefore, the COLA for the fiscal year 2023 will be calculated using prices as of June 2022.

Because economies of scale are taken into consideration, families with one to three people get somewhat more per person than households with four persons. More than four-person households receive much less money per person.

Law dictates the minimum gross monthly income requirements, which are set at 130% of the applicable household size's poverty line. Gross income, as used by the USDA, is the total, non-excluded income of a family before any deductions have been made.

According to USA Facts.org, the total annual SNAP benefit payouts decreased by 6.5% on average between 2013 and 2019. Benefits increased 32% between 2019 and 2020, primarily as a result of increases related to COVID-19 support.

The maximum SNAP stipend for most Americans in fiscal year 2022 is $1,504 per month for a household of eight, $835 per month for a household of four, and $188 per month for each additional member above eight. 

This contrasts with the maximum allowances for the fiscal year 2021, which are $782 for a household of four and $1,408 for a household of eight, with $176 allocated for each extra member.

According to those numbers, the maximum for a household of four is just 6.8% higher in fiscal 2022 than it was in fiscal 2021, which is well below the rate at which food prices are now rising.

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