CSAC Bulletin Article

CalFresh Benefits to Rise in October

August 19, 2021

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on Monday that the average monthly Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/CalFresh) benefit will increase by $36 per person from pre-pandemic levels, or $1.19 per day, beginning on October 1, 2021.

The 27 percent increase in benefits resulted from a full review and revision of the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) which serves as the market basket of food items used to determine the cost of a nutritious diet. While there have been inflationary increases for SNAP over the years, the underlying TFP market basket reflecting the changing landscape in food consumption had not been updated in 45 years. USDA estimates that total SNAP benefits in California for FY 2022 will increase from $7.484 billion to $9.523 billion. Congress had directed the USDA to review the TFP as part of the 2018 Farm Bill. The increase does not need legislative approval.

The issue was highlighted during the recent National Association of Counties’ (NACo) Annual Conference when Mono County Supervisor John Peters introduced a resolution supporting a TFP update. Backed by the County Welfare Directors Association and the National Association of County Human Services Administrators, the resolution was adopted unanimously by the NACo membership.

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