Are They Going to Give Us More Food Stamps

People who rely on food stamps often find themselves worried about running out before the month is over. This situation can be stressful and lead to food insecurity. Food insecurity occurs when someone can’t get enough food to feed themselves or their family. A number of factors can cause food insecurity, including unemployment, job loss, or underemployment, low wages, inadequate or lost government benefits, and unexpected expenses. Food insecurity can also result from factors beyond an individual or household’s control, such as rising food prices, natural disasters, or economic crises.

Increase in Food Stamp Benefits

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, provides food assistance to low-income individuals and families. The program is federally funded and administered by the states. In recent years, there have been several changes to SNAP, including increases in benefits.


  • To be eligible for SNAP, you must meet certain income and asset requirements.
  • Income limits vary by state, but generally, you must have a gross income that is less than 130% of the federal poverty level.
  • Asset limits also vary by state, but generally, you cannot have more than $2,000 in countable assets, or $3,000 if you are 60 years of age or older or disabled.


The amount of SNAP benefits you receive depends on your income, household size, and other factors. The maximum monthly benefit for a family of four is $835.

Changes to SNAP

In recent years, there have been several changes to SNAP, including:

  • 2009: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 increased SNAP benefits by 13.6%.
  • 2013: The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 extended the increased SNAP benefits through fiscal year 2013.
  • 2014: The Agricultural Act of 2014 made several changes to SNAP, including increasing the maximum monthly benefit for a family of four to $835 and indexing SNAP benefits to inflation.

Table of SNAP Benefits

Household SizeMaximum Monthly Benefit

The Expansion of Food Stamp Eligibility

In recent years, there have been increasing efforts to expand eligibility for food stamps, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). These efforts have been driven by a number of factors, including:

  • Rising food prices: The cost of food has been rising steadily for many years, making it more difficult for low-income families to afford healthy meals.
  • Economic downturn: The recent economic recession has led to job losses and reduced incomes for many families, making it necessary for them to seek assistance with food.
  • Changes in family structure: The number of single-parent families and families headed by grandparents has been increasing, and these families are more likely to experience poverty and food insecurity.

In response to these factors, a number of states have taken steps to expand eligibility for food stamps. These efforts have included:

  • Raising the income limit: Some states have raised the income limit for food stamp eligibility, making it easier for low-income families to qualify for assistance.
  • Expanding the definition of “household”: Other states have expanded the definition of “household” to include more people, such as grandparents who are raising their grandchildren.
  • Simplifying the application process: Some states have made it easier for people to apply for food stamps by simplifying the application process and reducing the amount of documentation required.

These efforts have been successful in increasing the number of people who receive food stamps. In 2013, an estimated 47 million people received food stamps, up from 32 million in 2007. However, there are still many people who are eligible for food stamps but do not receive them. For example, a 2014 study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that only 57 percent of eligible adults and children participated in SNAP.

There are a number of reasons why people who are eligible for food stamps do not receive them. Some people may be unaware that they are eligible. Others may be discouraged from applying because of the stigma associated with receiving government assistance. Still others may find the application process to be too complicated or time-consuming.

Despite these challenges, there is a growing movement to expand eligibility for food stamps and make it easier for people to receive the assistance they need. This movement is being driven by a growing recognition that hunger is a serious problem in the United States and that food stamps are a vital safety net for low-income families.

Monthly SNAP Allotments for Different Household Sizes, as of October 1, 2023
Household SizeMaximum Monthly Allotment
1 person$281
2 people$516
3 people$782
4 people$1,039
5 people$1,288
6 people$1,546
7 people$1,803
8 people$2,060

Emergency Food Stamp Allotments

To assist individuals and families struggling with food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government provided emergency food stamp allotments.

  • These allotments were authorized under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.
  • The emergency allotments increased the maximum Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit amount for all households by $36 per person, per month.
  • This increase was in addition to the regular SNAP benefit amount that households receive based on their income and household size.

The emergency food stamp allotments were a temporary measure to address the increased food insecurity caused by the pandemic.

  • The allotments were first provided in April 2020 and were extended several times.
  • However, the emergency allotments ended in September 2021.
  • This means that SNAP benefit amounts have returned to the regular levels that were in place before the pandemic.

Households that receive SNAP benefits should contact their local SNAP office to inquire about the current benefit amount and any changes that may affect their benefits.

Maximum SNAP Benefit Amounts for Households of Various Sizes (Including Emergency Allotments)
Household SizeMaximum Benefit Amount (with Emergency Allotments)

Permanent Food Stamp Increases: A Closer Look

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, is a crucial safety net program that helps millions of low-income Americans put food on the table. In recent years, proposals have emerged to make permanent increases to SNAP benefits, addressing concerns about food insecurity and the high cost of living. While these proposals vary in scope and approach, they share a common goal: to provide more consistent and reliable support to those struggling to afford nutritious food.

Proposals for Permanent Food Stamp Increases

  • American Families Plan: Proposed by President Biden in 2021, the plan aimed to expand SNAP benefits by 15% and extend the 15% emergency increase introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also sought to provide additional funding for nutrition programs and increase access to healthy food.
  • House Resolution 829: Introduced in 2021, this resolution called for making the 15% emergency SNAP increase permanent and indexing SNAP benefits to inflation, ensuring that they keep pace with rising food costs.
  • Senate Bill 1668: This bipartisan bill, proposed in 2022, aimed to provide a permanent 15% increase to SNAP benefits and establish a pilot program to test innovative approaches to providing food assistance.

While these proposals have gained some traction, they face challenges in terms of securing the necessary political support and funding. The cost of permanent SNAP increases could be significant, and some lawmakers have expressed concerns about the long-term fiscal implications.

Why Are Permanent Food Stamp Increases Being Proposed?

  • Addressing Food Insecurity: SNAP plays a vital role in reducing food insecurity, especially among vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, and people with disabilities.
  • Rising Food Costs: The cost of food has been rising steadily in recent years, making it harder for families to afford healthy meals. Permanent SNAP increases would help offset these rising costs.
  • Economic Stability: SNAP benefits provide a stable source of income for low-income families, helping them cover essential expenses and improve their overall economic well-being.

Arguments For and Against Permanent Food Stamp Increases

Arguments For:

  • Reducing Food Insecurity: Permanent SNAP increases would directly address food insecurity by providing more resources for families to purchase nutritious food.
  • Stimulating the Economy: Increased SNAP benefits would boost consumer spending, particularly in local grocery stores and markets, contributing to economic growth.
  • Improving Health Outcomes: Access to adequate nutrition is essential for good health. Permanent SNAP increases would help individuals and families afford healthier food choices, leading to improved health outcomes.

Arguments Against:

  • Cost: Permanent SNAP increases would come with a significant price tag, potentially straining the federal budget.
  • Disincentive to Work: Some critics argue that increased SNAP benefits could discourage people from seeking employment or working more hours.
  • Potential Fraud and Abuse: Concerns have been raised about the potential for fraud and abuse within the SNAP program, particularly with permanent increases in benefits.


The debate over permanent food stamp increases is complex, involving considerations of food insecurity, affordability, economic impact, and potential drawbacks. As lawmakers weigh the pros and cons, it is crucial to prioritize the well-being of vulnerable families and individuals who rely on SNAP benefits to meet their basic food needs.

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