Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Foodbank commends the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s decision to expand Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, known in Vermont as 3SquaresVT, to an estimated 25 million people nationwide. Nationally, this increased benefit will provide about $1 billion per month in additional food assistance. In Vermont, the increase is estimated to be about $2 million per month.
Households receiving less than $95 in emergency allotment benefits under the previous policy will be eligible for this additional support, which supplements the lowest income households participating in each state.
“The emergency SNAP increases authorized by Congress last year were not being distributed equitably, and the poorest households – who have the least ability to absorb the economic shocks brought about by COVID – received little to no emergency benefit increases,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “As part of President Biden’s commitment to deliver economic relief and ensure every family can afford to put food on the table, today’s actions will provide much-needed support for those who need it most.”
“The Vermont Foodbank is extremely thankful to the USDA for addressing this significant gap in support for our neighbors in need,” says Vermont Foodbank CEO John Sayles. “The USDA has issued about $29 billion in additional benefits since the start of the pandemic, but households already at the maximum 3SquaresVT benefit amount received no additional support. This funding will help those who were already at or close to receiving the current maximum benefit. It also means that an additional $2 million a month will be spent at Vermont grocery stores, farmers markets, and farm stands in every community. We are very grateful to the USDA for this expanded emergency allotment and bringing more support to Vermont retailers and food producers.”
The Vermont Foodbank is the state’s largest hunger-relief organization, providing nutritious food through a network of 215 food shelves, meal sites, senior centers, and after-school programs, and directly to families, children, older adults and individuals at schools and hospitals. Last year, the Vermont Foodbank provided 11.7 million pounds of food to people throughout Vermont. The Vermont Foodbank, a member of Feeding America, is nationally recognized as one of the most effective and efficient nonprofits and food banks in the nation. Learn more at www.vtfoodbank.org.
Source: Vermont Foodbank 4.6.2021