COVID-19 pandemic prompts USDA to increase monthly SNAP benefits by 40%

Coronavirus New Mexico

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KRQE)- The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has announced on Wednesday that emergency benefit increases are now at $2 billion per month for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households across all 50 states and three territories in efforts to increase food security during the COVID-19 pandemic. The emergency benefits is a 40% increase in overall monthly SNAP benefits.

“These are unprecedented times for American families who are facing joblessness and hunger. USDA is providing a 40% increase in SNAP benefits to ensure that low-income individuals have enough food to feed themselves and their families during this national emergency,” said Secretary Purdue in a press release. “President Trump is taking care of America’s working class families who have been hit hard with economic distress due to the coronavirus. Ensuring all households receive the maximum allowable SNAP benefit is an important part of President Trump’s whole of America response to the coronavirus.”

Currently, a household that has to adults, three children and no income can get the maximum benefit of $768. However, as the result of reportable income and additional factors, the average five person houseold receives $528.

These emergency benefits would provide the average five person household with an additional $240 monthly that would bring the average household up to the same benefit level as households that already receive the maximum amount.

All SNAP households that are eligible to receive less than the maximum benefit will receive this emergency allotment to bring them up to the maximum. SNAP households are legally not allowed to receive more than the maximum allotment.

President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response that issues emergency allotments in response to COVID-19. Across the nation, emergency allotments total nearly $2 billion per month in addition to the approximately $4.5 billion in benefits that are already provided to SNAP households each month.

New Mexico Coronavirus Resource Guide

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