Kansans to see permanent increase to food assistance benefits
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansans receiving food assistance benefits from the state will see a permanent increase in a few categories on Oct. 1.
Kansas Department for Children and Families Secretary Laura Howard says Kansans who receive food assistance will benefit from a permanent increase to the maximum benefit amount starting on Oct. 1, 2021.
“Access to healthy food is a key component of a family’s well-being,” Howard said. “This permanent increase helps us address food insecurity, especially among children, which has a positive impact on the overall health of our community”
Howard said the change is happening because the 2018 Farm Bill directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture to reevaluate the Thrifty Food Plan, which is used to calculate benefits for food assistance. Through the 2021 adjustment, she said the maximum allowable amount has increased to $250 for a household of one. The maximum amount for households the size of two or more has also been increased.
According to Howard, the following annual adjustments have also been made:
- Gross and net income limits have increased
- Maximum excess shelter deduction will increase from $569 to $597
- Standard utility allowance will increase from $364 to $392
- Limited utility allowance will increase from $247 to $286
- Telephone standard will increase from $35 to $37
- Standard Medical Deduction will remain at $175
Howard said most households will see changes in benefits for October to reflect the annual adjustments.
Additionally, Howard said the USDA Food and Nutrition Service has temporarily increased food assistance benefits by 15% from March 2021 through September 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Howard, the temporary 15% increase will end on Sept. 30 and will be replaced with the new amounts. Taken together, she said food assistance recipients will see a 10% increase from benefit levels before March 2021.
Howard said the Oct. 1 maximum benefits, gross income and net income limits for food assistance are as follows:
|Household size||Oct. 1 maximum benefits||Oct. 1 maximum gross income||Oct. 1 maximum net income|
|Each additional person||+$188||+$492||+$379|
Howard said the minimum allotment is $20 and all food assistance benefits are based on household size, household income and allowable deductions.
The USDA provides shopping strategies and meal plan advice to help families serve more nutritious meals affordably through the following resources:
- gov (http://www.choosemyplate.gov/)
- Plan, compare and prepare (http://blogs.usda.gov/2013/03/28/healthy-eating-on-a-budget/)
- Team Nutrition Recipes (https://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/team-nutrition-recipes), which helps find healthy low-cost recipes and create cookbooks and shopping lists.
For more information about Kansas’s food assistance program, click HERE.
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