Thousands of Iowans who receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will see a boost in those benefits this month.
Janee Harvey is the Department of Human Services administrator who oversees the program. “It will vary according to the benefits that a family or an individual receives — but an approximately 25 to 27% increase is what recipients can expect,” Harvey says.
She says the increase is part of a routine federal government review as the U.S.D.A. evaluates the benefits every year, and this year they reevaluated the way they do the evaluation — and that led to a much bigger increase percentage increase than what they’ve seen in past years.
Harvey says this permanent increase happens as the pandemic-related increase in SNAP benefits that started in January is ending. Harvey says there have been a lot of extra food-related benefits they’ve given out during the pandemic.
She says that includes the “Pandemic EBT” program which provided food assistance cards for kids who weren’t able to get free meals at school during the pandemic shutdowns.
Harvey says the increase in benefits impacts many households. “Around 149,000 households do receive SNAP benefits. Within those households, there are about 119.000 children who are direct recipients of that food assistance. That also includes about 285,000 individuals,” according to Harvey.
Harvey says those receiving SNAP benefits won’t have to do anything to get the increase. She says the benefits are automatically loaded on the benefit cards and when the amount is changing they send out a letter. Harvey says those letters will explain the number of change recipients can expect.
For more information about the Department of Human Services food assistance programs, including how to apply for benefits, visit: dhs.iowa.gov/food-assistance.