Federal vitamin subsidies do not cowl the common meal price in additional than 4 in 10 U.S. counties, even after Congress elevated advantages, a brand new examine discovered.
Earlier than the momentary 15% improve to the utmost Supplemental Vitamin Assistant Program profit, the utmost subsidy didn’t cowl the price of a low-income meal in 96% of U.S. counties, in keeping with analysis from the City Institute, funded by the Robert Wooden Johnson Basis. Whereas the momentary enhance—set to run out on Sept. 30—has decreased charges of meals insecurity, it nonetheless does not cowl the common meal of $2.41 in 40.5% of U.S. counties.
“Our findings present the utmost SNAP profit nonetheless leaves a niche in overlaying the price of meals for a lot of households with low-incomes,” Elaine Waxman, senior fellow on the City Institute, stated in ready remarks. “About 4 in 10 households receiving SNAP have zero web earnings—if SNAP doesn’t cowl the price of a meal, individuals in such households shall be at excessive threat of experiencing meals insecurity. Further consideration of the geographic variation in meals costs when setting SNAP profit ranges is important to the well being and well-being of probably the most susceptible communities.”
Policymakers ought to completely increase SNAP advantages, at minimal, in addition to observe the regional variation in meals costs, researchers stated. Growing entry to wholesome meals can cut back the speed of persistent illness, consultants stated.
Within the 20 counties with the biggest hole between most SNAP advantages and the common price of a low-income meal, common low-income meal prices vary from $3.23 to $6.16, or 64% to 213% greater than the SNAP profit per meal.
Greater than 40 million Individuals, almost half of whom are kids, use SNAP.