The program has been plagued with delays this year due to a mixture of political failure in Congress and bureaucracy at the Department of Agriculture.
As POLITICO reported last month, the vast majority of households have not received any P-EBT benefits this school year, although the money has been authorized since September. Many states haven’t even sent their plans to USDA for approval, which means aid will be delayed even further.
What’s up: This school year, households can receive up to $ 5.86 per child per day of school missed. This rate will increase by 15%. It is not clear whether the increase will apply to the many months of benefits that are owed to most eligible families.
“As soon as the president took office, he called for immediate action on the hunger crisis affecting vulnerable families and children,” said Stacy Dean, assistant under secretary for food, nutrition and consumer services. food insecure children living in low income households who miss essential meals due to school closures. “
More SNAP increases on tap: The USDA also said it will begin working with the Justice Department to examine whether it can increase Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program payments to nearly 40% of households that saw no increase. real during the crisis.
Under the Trump administration, the USDA determined that it only had the power to raise all SNAP households to existing maximum payment levels, which meant that households already receiving maximum payments saw no increase. (The Trump administration defended its position in court last year).
The USDA is also beginning to review what’s known as the Thrifty Food Plan, the basis of how the department sets the payment levels households should get under the program.
The current plan “is overwhelmed by the economic realities that most struggling households face when trying to buy and prepare healthy food,” according to the ministry. “As a result, the benefits are less than what a healthy and adequate diet costs many households.”