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SNAP benefits don’t cover the cost of a meal

A new study by Urban Institute and Feeding America shows that benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are not sufficient to cover the real cost of a meal in 99 percent of U.S. continental counties.

The average cost of a low-income meal across the continental U.S. is $2.36, which is 27 percent higher than the maximum SNAP benefits of $1.86 per meal. This shortfall results in a monthly food budget gap of $46.50 per person.

In Eastern Massachusetts, the average low-income meal cost ranged from $2.49 to $3.00 per meal or 34 to 61 percent higher than the maximum SNAP benefits per meal.

SNAP benefits

SNAP, the nation’s largest anti-hunger program, is threatened with cuts from Congress and the president’s 2019 budget proposal. This study highlights the need to not only protect SNAP, but to strengthen it.

The study was conducted by Urban Institute and Feeding America using data from the Map the Meal Gap study. See the full report and interactive map here.

In order to support SNAP in the 2018 Farm Bill, please sign onto this Feeding America Sign-on letter here.

SNAP benefits

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