O, THE LOCKDOWNS DID THAT: Pandemic Triggers 89% Increase, $53 Billion, In Food Stamp Spending.

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Spending on food stamps has increased by $53.5 billion – an 89% increase – in the two pandemic years. By comparison, that’s how much the entire program cost in 2009 during the Great Recession.

Spending on the U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program grew 88.5% from $60.3 billion in 2019 to $113.8 billion in 2021. Spending on the SNAP program had previously peaked at $79.8 billion in 2013 before declining for the next six years.

The average monthly benefit per person increased 68%, from $129.83 per person to $217.88 per person, from 2019 to 2021, according to figures from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service.

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The federal program helps supplement the food budget of people who qualify. SNAP provides benefits to eligible low-income people through an Electronic Benefits Transfer card that can be used at stores to buy food.


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