Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Modernizing SNAP Benefits

SNAP benefit levels are “based on increasingly outdated assumptions, including unreasonable expectations about households’ availability of time to prepare food, and need to be modernized,” a new paper explains. It calls for a 20% benefit increase in the short term and more research to modernize the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) — the estimate of a bare-bones, nutritionally adequate diet that USDA uses to calculate SNAP benefits. The cost of the TFP, which hasn’t been updated to reflect changes in dietary recommendations since the 1970s, “assumes that low-income households can spend an unlimited amount of time preparing food from scratch and has consequently shifted toward the food items that are lowest cost but most time-intensive,” according to the paper.

Source: Center for Budget & Policy Priorities, 5/25/16, SNAP

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