SNAP is a crucial lifeline for millions, but the maximum SNAP benefit still leaves a gap in covering the cost of food for many families with low incomes. If the program does not cover the cost of a meal, many households will be at a high risk of experiencing food insecurity.
The temporary increase in SNAP benefits along with additional economic assistance has helped reduce rates of food insecurity and is anticipated to help reduce rates of poverty significantly this year as well, but meal costs still surpass food assistance benefits in many places.
Increasing SNAP benefits, considering food price variation among the communities where program participants live, and providing the maximum SNAP benefit to all people living in America with incomes less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level, would lead to a precipitous decline in food insecurity and ensure that SNAP can continue its mission of supporting the purchasing power of low-income families.
The nonprofit Urban Institute is dedicated to elevating the debate on social and economic policy. For nearly five decades, Urban scholars have conducted research and offered evidence-based solutions that improve lives and strengthen communities across a rapidly urbanizing world. Their objective research helps expand opportunities for all, reduce hardship among the most vulnerable, and strengthen the effectiveness of the public sector. Visit the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center for more information specific to its staff and its recent research.
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