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End of federal ARRA fund inflation to decrease all SNAP benefits Nov. 1

Monday, October 28, 2013 | 05:58am

Drop follows annual COLA hike; DHS sends Tennesseans letters about U.S. move

NASHVILLE — On November 1, the federal government’s short-term inflation of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) 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 (USDA), which funds and oversees SNAP, on November 1, for a family of four receiving a maximum allotment, benefits will decrease from $668 to $632, a decrease of $36, or 5.4 percent. This marks the final phase-out of federal stimulus funding administered by the Tennessee Department of Human Services connected with ARRA.

On October 1, the federal government’s annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), increased benefits for recipients.

In September, the Tennessee Department of Human Services (DHS) 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 (http://1.usa.gov/u0dzr0) and the Thrifty Food Plan (http://1.usa.gov/AjShG1). 
  • USDA’s MyPlate symbol and the resources at ChooseMyPlate.gov (http://www.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 (http://1.usa.gov/14zgN0W) meals that are both nutritious and budget friendly.

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