2023 Could See Highest Number of People on Food Stamps Since 2016

The 2023 fiscal year is on track to average the highest number of individuals on food stamps in the U.S. since 2016.

There were 42,329,101 on food assistance on average each month on through the first nine months of the fiscal year, as of June 2023, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The fiscal year is completed at the end of September.

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2022 National Food Stamp Payment Error Rates Hit Nearly 12 Percent

For the first time since the COVID pandemic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released the fiscal year 2022 national payment error rate for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The PER measures how accurately SNAP agencies determine benefit amounts and eligibility. A payment error means the agency either underpaid or overpaid the recipient, which can result from an error by the agency or a recipient or fraud. 

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Commentary: Income Inequality in America Is an Engineered Myth

The federal government significantly and intentionally misreports income distribution, sparking bad policies and political divisions.

That’s the argument former senator Phil Gramm and two other economists, Robert Ekelund and John Early, lay out in their compelling and essential new book, “The Myth of American Inequality: How Government Biases Policy Debate.”

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Commentary: The Uncomfortable Truths About the Food Stamp Program

Volunteers sorting through food stamps

A recent administrative action has permanently increased benefits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by 25 percent. Unfortunately, this historic boost fails to address the structural problems that plague this nearly 60-year-old program.

The official Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) webpage proudly proclaims that, “SNAP provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of needy families so they can purchase healthy food…”

To that admirable end, the program formerly known as food stamps distributed $79 billion to 40 million people last year. Yet this desire to provide wholesome food to needy families conflicts with clear evidence that wholesome food is not what they think they need. Whether they play by the rules or not, people receiving SNAP benefits currently spend between 70-100 percent of that benefit on things other than healthy food.

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Increase in Food Stamp Benefits to Begin in October

After a major update to the food stamp system, known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), recipients will see a massive increase in food stamp handouts in the month of October, according to CNN.

Benefits will rise by approximately 27 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels, the largest such increase in the program’s history. Even after the special extension and increase that was implemented specifically due to the COVID-19 pandemic has expired, the regular handouts will go up due to a revision of the Thrifty Food Plan.

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