More than 420,00 Pennsylvanians and 174,000 households in the commonwealth are receiving increased food assistance due to expanded eligibility through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Updated October 1, 2022, those newly eligible for SNAP will receive an average of $63 per month to aid in the purchase of produce, meats, dairy, and additional groceries.
“Being able to eat and nourish yourself every day is one of the most essential building blocks to living well and doing everything else in life,” said Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) Acting Secretary Meg Snead. “It’s easy to take for granted, but for too many people, being able to afford your next meal isn’t a given. SNAP helps to make that possible. Expanding eligibility for SNAP allows us to extend a reprieve to people who may be struggling so we can help more Pennsylvanians meet this most essential need that literally fuels us to live, work, grow, and thrive, and I strongly encourage Pennsylvanians not currently using this program to apply and see if SNAP can help them make a little extra room in their monthly budget.”
SNAP eligibility is being expanded through Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility (BBCE). A federal program, SNAP’s benefits are funded through the federal budget with states administering eligibility and the issuance of benefits.
BBCE allows states to determine income thresholds that are appropriate and extend SNAP benefits to families and individuals whose low income causes them to struggle to purchase food.
“For years, we’ve gotten calls on a daily basis from folks who are hoping to qualify for SNAP but don’t,” Ann Sanders, Public Policy Advocate for Just Harvest, said. “They include parents who are trying to feed their kids, people who are struggling between skyrocketing rents and rising food prices. Often, they’re just a few dollars over the limit, so we’re thrilled that the Wolf Administration found a way to allow more of these households to qualify for some help.”
More than 2 million Pennsylvanians, including one in seven children, experience daily chronic hunger and food insecurity. Increased risks for disease, hospitalization, and increased health care costs can result from chronic nutrient deficiencies. SNAP and other programs help provide access to food for working adults, individuals with disabilities, older adults, and children. Expanding purchasing power means individuals will not have to choose between eating a meal or paying for a doctor’s appointment.
Grocery stores, food retailers, and various farm markets across the commonwealth accept SNAP. Applications for SNAP and additional public assistance programs can be submitted online at www.compass.state.pa.us.