USDA increases monthly maximum for some SNAP households

Published 1:50 pm Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Beginning Oct. 1, 2021, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients began seeing an increase in their monthly household allotment through a reevaluation of the Thrifty Food Plan. This is the first cost adjustment of the purchasing power of the Thrifty Food Plan in more than 45 years.

This increase comes as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reevaluating the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP), which is used to set the amount of food assistance people participating in SNAP receive, to more accurately reflect the cost of a healthy diet.

“It’s important that families have the means to be able to afford a healthy, balanced diet,” said Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Assistant Secretary for Family Support Shavana Howard. “We know there are challenges in purchasing healthier items, but this adjustment will give SNAP participants the ability to access those healthier choices which will not only benefit them in terms of having food to eat, but will also benefit them through leading healthier lives.”

For a family of three in Louisiana, this will result in the maximum allotment of $535 per month increasing to a maximum of $658 a month. Overall in Louisiana, the average monthly SNAP benefit increase will be around $12 to $20 per person.

The reevaluation of the Thrifty Food Plan also slightly increases the max monthly gross income allowable under SNAP.

In August, Louisiana had 401,531 SNAP households accounting for 832,088 individuals, nearly half of whom — 369,742 — are under 18 years old. These households received a total $191,607,547 in SNAP benefits in August of 2021.

USDA projects that total SNAP benefits issued for the upcoming fiscal year (FY22) will increase $435 million in Louisiana under the revised Thrifty Food Plan, leading to an estimated $670 million in additional economic impact for the state.

New SNAP household maximums are as follows:

  • Household of 1 — from $204 max benefit to $250.
  • Household of 2 — from $374 to $459.
  • Household of 3 — from $535 to $658.
  • Household of 4 — from $680 to $835.
  • Household of 5 — from $807 to $992.
  • Household of 6 — from $969 to $1,190.
  • Household of 7 — from $1,071 to $1,316.
  • Household of 8 — from $1,224 to $1,504.
  • Each additional member — from $153 each, to $188 each.

The Thrifty Food Plan is one of four food plans USDA develops that estimate the cost of a healthy diet across various price points — the Thrifty, Low-Cost, Moderate-Cost and Liberal Food Plans. The Thrifty Food Plan is the lowest cost of the four. It represents the cost of a nutritious, practical, cost-effective diet prepared at home for a family of four, which is defined in law as an adult male and female, ages 20-50, and two children, ages 6-8 and 9-11.

Due to the USDA’s annual cost-of-living adjustment, the income limits and some deductions for SNAP are also changing, effective Oct. 1. The new income limits and maximum allotments can be found at www.dcfs.la.gov/snap-allotments.

Louisiana has received USDA approval for SNAP emergency allotments for October . The SNAP emergency allotments are scheduled to be loaded onto recipients’ EBT cards by Sunday, Oct. 10. New SNAP applicants will receive the supplements on a rolling weekly basis following approval of their cases.

SNAP recipients who are not already at the maximum amount will receive a supplement to bring them to the max, while recipients who are already at the max will receive a $95 supplement.

For more information about the SNAP program, including additional information on the upcoming changes to SNAP, visit online at www.dcfs.la.gov/SNAP.