SNAP Benefits Set to Increase in 2024, But Will They Be Enough?
With food costs steadily rising, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients are feeling the pinch more than ever.
The good news is that SNAP benefits will increase in the 2024 fiscal year, which starts on October 1, 2023.
However, experts say the boost may not be enough to keep up with inflation.
Will the SNAP Boost be enough?The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which oversees SNAP, announced in August that benefits will go up an average of 3.6% starting October 1, 2023.
This cost-of-living adjustment is intended to help SNAP households afford nutritious food amid skyrocketing grocery prices.
For a family of four, the maximum monthly benefit will be $973, up from $939 in 2023.
While recipients welcome any increase, experts say a 3.6% bump likely won't offset recent food inflation.
Grocery prices have jumped 13% in the past year. So even with slightly higher benefits, many SNAP households will still struggle to afford healthy, balanced meals.
Who will be added to SNAP eligibility?In addition to raising benefits, the USDA is expanding SNAP eligibility starting in October 2024.
The age limit will increase from 49 to 54 for able-bodied adults without dependents.
This change will allow more low-income Americans to qualify for nutrition assistance.
The SNAP Bottom Line...for nowWhile incremental steps, the 2024 SNAP changes may not fully address the growing hunger crisis.
Anti-hunger organizations continue urging Congress to pass legislation strengthening food aid programs.
With living costs expected to remain high, adequate government nutrition support is more important than ever.