Since October, SNAP recipients have seen a boost in the amount of monthly food benefits they receive. But inflation is making some foods much more expensive, meaning those benefits don’t stretch as far.
A family of four on SNAP is now seeing $53 a month more in food benefits.
The USDA adjusts the benefits to account for cost of living increases every year, but for the first time since 1975, it also factored in the cost of a healthy diet.
Still, SNAP benefits usually don’t cover a household’s entire grocery bill, said Joel Berg with Hunger Free America.
“They weren’t enough before the food price increases, and they’re certainly not enough now,” he said.
Those food price increases are forcing SNAP recipients to make hard choices – like Aidezainos Flores, who lives in the Bronx.
“With these high prices you’ll need to prioritize what you’re going to buy … vegetables, eggs, or milk,” he said.
The amounts for SNAP benefits were determined in June. Joseph Llobrera with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said prices have jumped since then.
“You’re talking about three months of food inflation that aren’t reflected in those benefit levels,” he said.
And, according to the USDA, every time inflation increases food costs, food insecurity goes up as well.
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