As part of September Hunger Action Month, Governor Tom Wolf announced that Pennsylvania’s SNAP, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, will soon see an expansion come the start of next month.
Effective October 1, the state will increase the income ceiling for SNAP food assistance to 200 percent above the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines. The expansion is projected to add more than 420,000 additional state residents who are in need of assistance to the program. On average, newly eligible Pennsylvanians will receive about $63 per month.
Currently, SNAP assists more than 1.8 million residents in the state by providing them with the financial means to purchase groceries and to have enough food. According to Feeding Pennsylvania, an association of food banks in the state, more than two million Pennsylvanians, many of whom are children, experience daily food insecurity or hunger.
As a food program, SNAP is a critical component towards addressing chronic hunger among financially-struggling adults, people with disabilities, and children in the state. To highlight its impact, it’s estimated that SNAP provides nine times as many meals to hungry Pennsylvanians as a Feeding Pennsylvania food bank.
“It’s easy to take for granted, but for too many people, being able to afford your next meal isn’t a given. SNAP helps to make that possible,” Andrew Barnes, the Executive Deputy Secretary of the Department of Human Services, said.
“Expanding eligibility for SNAP allows us to extend a reprieve to people who may be struggling so we can help more Pennsylvanians meet this most essential need that literally fuels us to live, work, grow, and thrive,” he continued.
Under the new expansion, the income limit has been raised as follows:
1 in household – $2,266
2 – $3,052
3 – $3,840
4 – $4,626
5 – $5,412
6 – $6,200
7 – $6,986
8 – $7,772
9 – $8,560
10 – $9,348
Each additional member – $788
Qualifying residents can apply for SNAP assistance either online or through their county assistance office.