Food Assistance Programs Expand to Meet Growing Need

Emily Chan
Published Oct 19, 2023





As costs rise and wages stagnate, hunger is an ever-present threat for many.

The government aims to combat food insecurity through programs like SNAP and Social Security. Recent policy changes will boost aid for recipients starting in 2023.

SNAP benefits will increase by over 3% in October 2023, amounting to an extra $34 per month for a family of four. While a modest bump, this additional money can provide relief for households struggling to afford groceries.

The USDA adjusts SNAP limits yearly based on food price inflation. But for years, benefits have not kept up with the actual cost of living. The 2023 increase is a step toward adequate, inflation-adjusted aid.

Further SNAP increases are planned for 2024, with early estimates around 8%. At the same time, Social Security payments will jump 3.2%—one of the highest cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) in decades.

For the average retiree, this means an extra $150 per month. Back-to-back COLAs provide much-needed security for seniors on fixed incomes.  

Expanded government assistance reflects the growing need for nutrition and income support. While programs could still improve, higher SNAP and Social Security benefits throw a lifeline to vulnerable groups.

With smart reforms, we can build a hunger-free future where all people can afford basic necessities. 

Policymakers should continue efforts to boost aid and broaden eligibility. Minor changes—like raising SNAP's gross income limit or making it easier to qualify for Social Security disability—could help millions.

We all benefit when no one goes hungry. Government has a role to play in ensuring the health and dignity of citizens, regardless of means.

The 2023 increases point us in the right direction. With political will, we can make progress against poverty and food insecurity once and for all.

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