USDA to permanently boost food stamp benefits by 25 percent
Mississippians receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will see their benefits increase twenty-five percent (25%) over pre-pandemic benefit levels and this increase will go into effect starting October 1, 2021. This increase in SNAP benefits is separate from the additional pandemic supplementary benefits SNAP households are currently receiving. The additional benefits will have a positive impact on over 421,000 Mississippians.
The newly announced increase is due to cost adjustment and is the first time the USDA’s Thrifty Food Plan’s purchasing power has changed since it was first introduced in 1975, reflecting notable shifts in the food marketplace and consumers’ circumstances over the past 45 years. This change will increase Mississippi’s overall SNAP benefits from approximately six hundred thirty million dollars ($630 million) annually to eight hundred and two million ($802 million) which is the equivalent to an increase of approximately $ 36.24 per person per month.
“Just as Mississippi’s monthly TANF benefit was increased this year to keep pace with the impact of inflation, this adjustment of SNAP benefits by USDA is tied to the erosion in purchasing power for SNAP dollars over the past several decades,” stated Bob Anderson, Executive Director of MDHS.
To check eligibility for SNAP benefits, the SNAP pre-screening tool is accessible here: https://www.access.ms.gov/. MDHS is working with UDSA to makes necessary changes to implement the new benefits and will provide additional information as the USDA makes it available.
To apply for SNAP, Mississippians must submit an application to the Department of Human Services office in their home county. The application is available online, or individuals may request an application by phone, in person, or by mail from their local county office.
For more information on the SNAP program, eligibility requirements, and how to apply, visit https://www.mdhs.ms.gov/economic-assistance/snap/.