Food stamp benefits set to decrease statewide

Staff Reports • Updated Oct 28, 2013 at 1:17 PM

NASHVILLE – On Friday, the federal government’s short-term inflation of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefit through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 will end, causing a reduction in the monthly amount for households across the nation receiving the food stamps benefit.

 As a result, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which funds and oversees SNAP, for a family of four receiving a maximum allotment, benefits will decrease from $668 to $632, a decrease of $36, or 5.4 percent beginning Friday. This marks the final phase-out of federal stimulus funding administered by the Tennessee Department of Human Services connected with ARRA.

 On Oct. 1, the federal government’s annual cost-of-living adjustment increased benefits for recipients.

 In September, the Tennessee Department of Human Services began sending letters to SNAP recipients that both explain the federal adjustment to the benefit and that provide USDA resources that help recipients make healthful food choices on small budgets. Here are some of those federal resources:

• USDA provides shopping strategies and meal planning advice to help families serve more nutritious meals affordably through its 10-Tips Nutrition Series at 1.usa.gov/u0dzr0 and the Thrifty Food Plan. 

• USDA’s MyPlate symbol and the resources at choosemyplate.gov provide quick, easy tips for parents trying to feed their families on a budget.

• USDA provides tips to help parents plan, compare and prepare meals at 1.usa.gov/14zgN0W that are both nutritious and budget friendly.

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