The 1.9 billion dollar Rescue Plan that was promulgated by the president of the United States – Joe Biden – on March 11, announces extra financial support for millions of American children and adults in danger of malnutrition or imminent malnutrition to cause job loss and economic collapse left by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This plan includes the distribution of $ 12 billion for various food assistance programs, such as SNAP benefits, for example. Let’s take a look at what the measure is about and what this means for those receiving SNAP assistance in 2021.
SNAP benefits for 2021 vs 2020
In the specific case of food stamps, the new economic aid law for the coronavirus emergency provides for a 15% extension of food benefits compared to September 2020.
The $ 12 billion approved will also help each state continue to share the benefits of the Pandemic-EBT program, which is the one that replaces meals when schools are closed.
The increase in food assistance programs will also benefit users of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
Why are SNAP benefits increasing for 2021?
The answer to this question is simple. Food insecurity has become a serious problem – a generalized one, moreover – in the midst of the pandemic crisis. This has set back the efforts of the United States to fight and eradicate hunger, anemia, malnutrition, and malnutrition. To give you an idea, in the fall season, about 20% of single adults had lost their jobs and about 40% of American families reported that at least one of their members had lost their job.
Luis Guardia, president of the Food Research and Action Center, has stated that the difficulty of acquiring food and supplies has increased in times of the pandemic. Although the worsening of this situation has hit all social groups, the most affected have been families made up of African Americans and Latinos.
What other changes does the new federal law provide?
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), approved to lessen the negative effects of COVID-19, includes a supplemental emergency provision for those who receive SNAP food stamps. This provision authorizes states to distribute the maximum allowed for household size during the declaration of emergency.
These benefits are known as an emergency allowance (EA or Emergency Assistance). To meet the proposed goal, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will grant new exemptions every month.
Now, you must know that this measure is not new. Since March 2020, states have been issuing supplemental SNAP benefits.
Food that can be purchased can be categorized into the following;
- Fruits and vegetables
- Poultry or fish
- Dairy products and
- Breads or cereals.
SNAP recipients can purchase seeds and plants that produce food for the home. There is also the SuperSNAP, which is a program that some beneficiaries can have an extra $ 40 per month. You can buy fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and vegetables with no added salt, sugar, or fats.
Beer, wine, cigarettes, or tobacco can not be bought. However, you can purchase shellfish, fish out of the water, and certified animals before being picked up from the store. Hot food at the point of sale can not also be bought as these foods are not considered basic. Also, restaurants are not eligible for SNAP authorization as well as retail food stores. Any non-food item for humans for example; pet food, cleaning supplies, paper products, hygiene supplies, cosmetics, and household items are not also included.