US increases food stamp aid for poorer Americans

The Biden administration has increased the amount of government-provided food assistance distributed to approximately one-in-8 Americans each month.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Monday announced an increase of over 25% for funds used to buy food. The increased budget will be available starting in October to the 42 million people who receive food stamps – known formally as Snap benefits. The average benefit will increase by about $36 (£26) per person, per month. Americans enrolled in the programme will see their monthly pre-pandemic allowance rise from $121 to about $157.

In 2018, Congress ordered the USDA to review the Thrifty Food Plan, a diet plan created in 1962 which outlines nutritional needs for Americans and what budget is necessary to achieve them. The update is the largest permanent funding boost in the programme’s history. The agency’s newest revisions to the plan include an increase in calories “to reflect the latest data and support an active lifestyle,” the USDA said. They also reflect current food prices and eating trends.

Experts say the budget has not been enough for Americans to choose healthier foods, instead choosing salty and sugary options. One study has found that 10% of the money is spent on sugary drinks alone – about three times the amount spent on milk.

The newest budget calls for Americans to eat more fish “and red and orange vegetables”, the USDA said. The funding boost comes amid an effort by President Joe Biden to bolster the country’s social safety net. Americans must be below certain income limits in order to be eligible for the programme – for a four-person household, their net monthly income can’t be above $$2,184

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-58235165

Published by charlesghose

Charles Ghose graduated the University Of Greenwich London with a BA in Communications and Media. His university life was very enriched by his very active participation in various University societies. Charles ran the gamut of campus student communities; he was involved with the Politics and Debate Societies, Students Union, and University Of Greenwich Choir, and chamber choir. Charles Ghose acts as an independent contractor working in the very lucrative Freelance Translator Field. He has been hired by various International Humanitarian NGO's, private corporations, and The Overseas Fellowship Mission. Charles has also lead workshops for employers on the theme of mindfulness training courses for the improvement of employee’s health and well-being. Charles is a strong believer that a happy work force adds to higher productivity and loyalty to a company by employees.

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