Part of the Food Policy Snapshot Series
Policy name: SNAP – Fiscal Year 2023 Cost-of-Living Adjustments
Overview: Benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly referred to as food stamps, have increased 12.5 percent for fiscal year 2023 which began on October 1, 2022.
Location: United States
Population: Approximately 42 million Americans receive SNAP benefits.
Food policy category: Food security
Program goals: To help low-income households cover the rising costs of food in order to prevent hunger and food insecurity.
How it works: Starting on October 1, SNAP benefits automatically increased by 12.5 percent for all participating households. For a family of four, this equates to $104 more per month to spend on groceries, for a total of $939 per month as compared to $835 received previously.
Progress to date: The USDA assessed the cost of the Thrifty Food Plan in June 2022 and the updated SNAP benefits went into effect on October 1.
Why it is important: The cost of groceries rose 12.2 percent from June 2021 to June 2022, and people receiving SNAP benefits have already been struggling to cover the cost of food for themselves and their families. Without an adequate increase in benefits to match the increase in food costs, individuals who participate in SNAP would be at a higher risk for experiencing hunger and food insecurity.
Furthermore, hunger, food insecurity, and poor nutrition are associated with an increased risk for various chronic diseases including hypertension, coronary heart disease (CHD), hepatitis, stroke, cancer, asthma, diabetes, arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and kidney disease.
A proper amount of financial support is essential for low-income households to be able to purchase the healthy foods needed to maintain nutrition and health.
Program/Policy initiated: SNAP benefits increased on October 1, 2022.
Point of contact:
SNAP Toll-free Information Number: 1-800-221-5689
USDA Food & Nutrition Service: 703-305-2062
Similar practices: SNAP maximum allotments are revised every year, and the fiscal year 2023 update is the largest annual percentage increase since 1975.
Evaluation: Food prices have continued to rise since the updated SNAP allotments were set in June 2022, so it is unclear if the 12.5 percent increase will be enough to offset the continually rising costs of food for the next 12 months.
- Here’s the Inflation Breakdown for September 2022 — In One Chart (CNBC)
- How Inflation Affects Food Insecurity (NPR)
- Hunger is Getting Worse Since the Pandemic (The Washington Post)
- More Americans are Going Hungry, and It Costs More to Feed Them (The New York Times)
- Summary Findings Food Price Outlook, 2022 and 2023 (United States Department of Agriculture)
- Why Are Food Prices Still Rising? (Forbes)
- Why Food Keeps Getting More Expensive (Vox)
- Yet Another Inflation Problem (Vox)
- Food Insecurity, Chronic Disease, and Health Among Working-Age Adults (United States Department of Agriculture)
- Food Stamps Benefits to Jump 12.5% Starting in October Due to Inflation (CNN)
- SNAP and the Thrifty Food Plan (United States Department of Agriculture)
- SNAP Benefit Adjustments Will Help Low-Income Households Cope With Food Inflation (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)
- SNAP Data Tables (United States Department of Agriculture)
- SNAP – Fiscal Year 2023 Cost-of-Living Adjustments (United States Department of Agriculture)
- SNAP – Fiscal Year 2023 Cost-of-Living Adjustments [Memorandum] (United States Department of Agriculture)
- USDA Food Plans: Cost of Food (United States Department of Agriculture)
- What You Need To Know About SNAP Benefits Increasing Oct. 1 (Forbes)