TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a re-evaluation of the Thrifty Food Plan, which is used to calculate Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. With these updates, Florida is expected to see an increase of $1,449,000,000 in total SNAP benefits for Fiscal Year 2022. Nationally, the average SNAP benefit – excluding additional funds provided as part of pandemic relief – will increase by $36.24 per person each month. Increased benefits will begin on October 1, 2021.
“Helping Florida families access the food they need to grow and thrive is one of my top priorities,” said Commissioner Fried. “These changes will make it easier for Floridians to feed their families and access healthy foods. They will also help create good-paying jobs and boost our state’s food economy as families spend more on groceries. I’m proud to work with USDA as we make these much-needed investments in the health and success of the people of Florida, especially as so many families work to get back on their feet after being impacted by the pandemic.”
This update – the first in over 45 years – was conducted as a result of a directive in the 2018 Farm Bill and with the support of an executive order President Biden issued on January 22 to extend pandemic SNAP benefit increases. These updates were driven by the latest available data on four key factors: current food prices, what Americans typically eat, dietary guidance, and the nutrients in food items.
A USDA study published earlier this summer found that nearly nine out of 10 SNAP participants reported facing barriers to achieving a healthy diet, with the most common barrier being the cost of healthy foods.