Food stamp costs for a family’s meal jump 31% over last three years

(The Center Square) – The monthly costs for healthy meals for a family of four participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program increased by 31% over the past three years.

The United States Department of Agriculture stated the food stamp benefit amounts are based every year upon the cost of the Thrifty Food Plan. SNAP spent $7.9 billion on food stamps in November 2023.

The thrifty plan is considered the cost of groceries needed to provide a healthy, cost-friendly diet for families to prepare at home. The foods include dark green vegetables, poultry, and whole fruit, according to the USDA website.

These meals serve as a model for nutrition, now the typical meal for a family of four has increased in cost by 31% from January 2021 to January 2024, according to reports.

The cost for a family of four under the thrifty plan in 2021 with children ages 6 to 8 and 9 to 11 was $675 a month. The United States Department of Agriculture’s 2023 updated thrifty plan for a family of four with children 6 to 8 and 9 to 11 now totals $975.90 monthly.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recommends meals for people on food stamps that their allotment is based upon.

The thrifty meal plan must be re-evaluated every five years as of 2022 as directed by the 2018 Farm Bill.