We were overcome with joy and gratitude at the news that the USDA updated the Thrifty Food Plan. At a time when most Americans haven’t financially recovered from the pandemic, this was great news!
The SNAP nutrition assistance benefits in Florida was increased by 21% starting October 1. Previously, there was a temporary 15% increase covering January through September. So, for the 21% increase that started earlier this month, most households will see 6% more SNAP benefits. Of course, this depends on individual household circumstances.
Additionally, the benefit amount will happen automatically, and you don’t need to do anything to receive this increase.
The History of SNAP Nutrition Program in Florida
Although many households are affected by the SNAP nutrition program in Florida, it’s not just for this state. In fact, since the Thrifty Food Plan is a federal program, many states will equally benefit.
SNAP is familiarly known as ‘food stamps’. It’s the largest food and nutrition assistance program administered by the USDA in the United States. At this time, SNAP is only available to legal permanent residents and U.S. citizens. But certain asylees and refugees are also eligible to receive these benefits.
The eligibility for the program is based on a household’s gross monthly income. If approved, the recipient receives an EBT card, which is reloaded monthly with their benefits. And this card is a much better currency than the funny looking money paper used years ago. Not only was that type of money known by everyone, but it also caused embarrassment for those using it.
In addition to its use at grocery stores, the EBT card can also be used at farmer’s markets. The Thrifty Food Plan determines the maximum monthly benefit amount a household can receive.
What You Can Purchase With Your SNAP EBT Card
To ensure the focus remains on food, the Thrifty Food Plan is a set of foods that represent a nutritional diet. Thus, this will help low-income households to purchase and prepare nutritional meals.
Until now, and aside from inflation, the Thrifty Food Plan had not been updated since the 1970s. This was despite significant research demonstrating that the practices, cost, and preferences of preparing a nutritional meal had changed.
Much Needed Change For Those On SNAP
As SNAP application assisters and advocates, we know that these benefits are not enough for many of our clients. Especially if an individual is dealing with a medical condition and requires a special diet.
Consequently, these participants face significant barriers to a healthy diet. For example, time to prepare healthy meals, transportation and distance to the grocery store, and cost of healthy foods. Given that SNAP is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program, we know that the program is not serving its purpose. Because when the majority of its participants cannot afford an adequate nutritional diet, something’s not right.
In theory, the maximum benefit amount may be enough for able-bodied, healthy people with adequate transportation. But it not enough for those who do not have these privileges. Hence, SNAP assistance nutrition program in Florida should benefit our most vulnerable community members. But not just in Florida, as it should include eligible individuals all in all of the United States. Further, we know that SNAP benefits are not meeting the needs of our community. This is evident by the number of people we serve from our ULOC Community Network mobile food pantries each month.
Given these points, no one should go hungry. Especially not in the most powerful country in the world. But oftentimes, many Americans with medical conditions have to choose between needed medications and having nutritional meals.
Get Help. Give Help
Find a free food distribution at a convenient location near you. Or let us help you apply for SNAP nutrition program in Florida. And no matter if you’re an individual or corporation, you can help us end hunger in the Tampa Bay Area. Call us today at (813) 812-2860 or get in touch online.