As America’s prestige and credibility are crashing down around it. In response, Joe Biden is shoring up his voter base by expanding food stamps more than ever before. Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack explains that it’s a bid to head off political instability (i.e. people voting Republican) Phil Shiver reports in The Blaze:
The Biden administration on Monday announced the largest-ever increase to the federal government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, approving an additional $20 billion for the already expansive initiative.
The increase, which is meant to be permanent, hikes food stamp stipends by more than 20% from their pre-pandemic levels and affects every single one of the program’s 42 million beneficiaries, the New York Times first reported.
“The move does not require congressional approval, and unlike the large pandemic-era expansions, which are starting to expire, the changes are intended to last,” the Times added in its report.
The SNAP program, designed to provide food assistance to low-income families and individuals, has been steadily growing since its inception in 1974. It now feeds about 1 in 8 Americans.
In a news release, the U.S. Department of Agriculture explained that as a part of the revamped Thrifty Food Plan, beneficiaries will receive an additional $36 a month. Before the coronavirus pandemic, the monthly stipend was $121.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack described the increase as an investment in the future.
“A modernized Thrifty Food Plan is more than a commitment to good nutrition — it’s an investment in our nation’s health, economy, and security,” Vilsack said. “Ensuring low-income families have access to a healthy diet helps prevent disease, supports children in the classroom, reduces health care costs, and more.”
In conversation with the Times a week earlier, Vilsack added that the food stamp safety net helps “stabilize our democracy.”
“We may have a Constitution and a Declaration of Independence, but if we had 42 million Americans who were going hungry, really hungry, they wouldn’t be happy and there would be political instability,” he explained.
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