A pandemic boost to food stamp benefits has expired, but recipients are set to see a jump in assistance anyway, due to Congress’ decision in 2018 to review how benefits are calculated.
Benefits will jump 27% above pre-pandemic levels in October, the largest increase in history, CNN reported.
The spike comes after the Department of Agriculture revised the Thrifty Food Plan, which determines how much a person receives under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Beneficiaries will see an increase of $36 per month, on average. With cost-of-living adjustments, the average monthly benefit will be $169.
Advocates for the poor told CNN the Thrifty Family Program made outdated assumptions about the cost of food and what is available today.
The Republican-led Congress ordered the USDA to reevaluate the program as part of the 2018 Farm Bill by fiscal 2022 and every five years after that, according to CNN, which said more than 42 million low-income Americans are enrolled in the program.