NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Starting October 1, families enrolled in SNAP food benefits will see more money in their accounts.
The program was formerly known as food stamps. Almost 71% of SNAP participants are in families with children. In Davidson County alone, more than 71,000 people received SNAP benefits in August.
The increase means more spending money for groceries, as food prices continue to rise.
Almost 848,000 people in the state are enrolled, and the result of this change means an extra $36 per-month going on their EBT cards.
That extra money translates to about a 21% increase, the largest in the program's more than 45-year history.
This big increase reflects current cost realities.
Four major categories were studied to make this decision: food prices, what Americans typically eat, dietary guidance and the nutrients in those food items.
Additionally, the plan was calculated using updated purchasing data – collected from stores versus self-reported by households – to reflect the current price of foods.
Around 6,300 stores in the state participate as authorized retail locations for SNAP benefits.
"We've all heard about and probably felt in our own pocketbooks, the increase in grocery prices. So this will make a huge impact on families with lower incomes who are really feeling the brunt of this pandemic-induced inflation," said Kristin Seefeldt with University of Michigan School of Social Work.