SNAP has accounted for nearly two-thirds of USDA spending on food and nutrition assistance in recent years. Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 marked record Federal spending on SNAP and the second year of increased spending and participation since 2019. This increase reflects the overall economic downturn and the temporary expansion of SNAP benefits because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to USDA, SNAP benefits expanded in two major ways:
- Emergency allotments (EAs) were issued beginning in FY 2020
- The maximum SNAP benefit was temporarily increased by 15 percent in FY 2021
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