USDA increases monthly SNAP benefits by 40% in midst of COVID-19 emergency

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced Wednesday, April 22 that emergency benefit increases have reached $2 billion per month for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households across all 50 states and three territories.

The increase in benefits is aimed to increase food security during the coronavirus national emergency. The emergency benefits represent a 40% increase in overall monthly SNAP benefits -- significantly increasing food purchasing power for American families.

Currently, a household with two adults, three children and no income can receive the maximum benefit of $768. However, due to reportable income and other factors, the average five-person household receives significantly less -- $528.

Emergency benefits would provide the average five-person household an additional $240 monthly in food purchasing power, bringing the average household up to the same benefit level as households already receiving the maximum.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) signed into law by President Donald Trump provided for the issuance of emergency allotments in response to COVID-19. Across the U.S., emergency allotments total nearly $2 billion per month, which is in addition to approximately $4.5 billion in benefits already provided to SNAP households each month.

The USDA also recently debuted an interactive map designed to help families across the country find places that are offering free meals for kids who typically receive those meals through school -- CLICK HERE.