December Updates for Food Stamps

Jessica Williams
Published Dec 26, 2023



There are more people currently on food stamps in America than at any other point in the country's history. Even during the Great Depression, not this many Americans were on government assistance, and that goes for percentages, not just total numbers. Despite what any administration or news organization tells you, there are more impoverished Americans in 2022 than at any other time ever. This has put a huge burden on most of America's welfare programs, but the food stamps program is still doing well despite having over 40 million Americans drawing money from it. Known today as the SNAP program (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), things run relatively smoothly since the FDA implemented EBT debit cards instead of handing out actual paper coupons. That aside, the program is still under a lot of burden, and millions of Americans are wondering what's going to happen in December.

As of today, Nov 29, tens of millions of Americans are preparing their grocery lists and planning on what to do with December's allotment. There's actually some great news for December's food stamps program. Recipients of SNAP will be receiving a 12.5% increase in money for food as of December, which is going to be held going into 2023 for cost of living increases. Many of these increases were paid out at the start of October; however, not everyone on food stamps received this boost. December's benefits will rectify that, and every single person on SNAP will receive the full 12.5% increase. That's $12.50 for every $100, which means that people getting the maximum amount of benefits will get over $100 in extra food money every month. That's a big increase, and it's very timely, since the supposed "transitory" inflation isn't transitory at all. It seems to be permanent at this point.

As to when you will get your SNAP payment, that really all depends on your state. Some states like handing them out at the very start of the month, while others tend to wait until the 2nd or 3rd week of the month. Just know that the schedule isn't going to change just because the increases are now fully rolling out. If you received your previous SNAP benefits on Nov 6, for instance, then you can expect your EBT card to be refilled fully on Dec 6. There is nothing to suggest that the government is going to break or change their schedule here.

If at all states were to change, they might give their allotments a little earlier in the month, due to the fact that it's the holiday season. Though in all likelihood, you will receive December's SNAP refill on the same day that you received November's. The one thing that bodes well for the food stamp program is that the FDA runs it properly, and it's always prompt.
 

The Holiday Season Stretches Funds Thin



The federal government expects that another few million people will be put on SNAP during December, due to a lot of new enrollment at the start of November. When the holiday season rolls around in America, millions of Americans start to realize that they do not have the funds available for the season. This is especially true for Americans who operate seasonal businesses or who work seasonal jobs. By the time the winter rolls around, there are around 40 million Americans who need assistance (since 2009-2022 on average); and that's pre-COVID and pre-inflation. This year, it's expected that over 60 million people may be on SNAP benefits by the time 2023 arrives.

The FDA actually does a decent job at operating the SNAP program. As long as they are properly funded by the federal government, they seem to have all the infrastructure necessary in order to get funds out to people quickly and regularly. In essence, all the FDA has to do is approve someone, create an account in their name, and ship out an EBT card. Every month, once that person's name is in the program, their SNAP account will refill automatically, and so all the person on food stamps has to do is wait until their account is refilled, and they can use their debit card at the grocery store per usual. It's a system that's mostly automated, and so it runs a lot more smoothly than other programs.

The biggest issue Americans on SNAP are facing this year is the fact that groceries are more expensive than at any other point in America's history. Hopefully the 12.5% increases end up helping Americans afford groceries.

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