Kansans to see permanent increase in food aid benefits
TOPEKA, Kansas (WIBW) – Kansans receiving state food assistance benefits will see a permanent increase in a few categories on October 1.
Kansas Department of Children and Families Secretary Laura Howard said Kansans who receive food assistance will receive a permanent increase in the maximum benefit amount starting October 1, 2021.
“Access to healthy food is a key part of a family’s well-being,” Howard said. “This permanent increase helps us fight against 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 ordered the US Department of Agriculture to reassess the Thrifty Food plan, which is used to calculate the benefits of food aid. Thanks to the 2021 adjustment, she said the maximum amount allowed had increased to $ 250 for a household of one. The maximum amount for households of two or more people has also been increased.
According to Howard, the following annual adjustments were also made:
- Gross and net income caps have increased
- Maximum deduction for excess housing will drop 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 drop from $ 35 to $ 37
- The 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 temporarily increased food aid benefits by 15% from March 2021 to September 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Howard, the temporary 15% increase will end on September 30 and will be replaced by the new amounts. Overall, she said food aid recipients will see a 10% increase over benefit levels before March 2021.
Howard said the October 1 maximum benefits, gross income and net income limits for food aid are as follows:
|Household size||Maximum benefits from October 1||Maximum gross income on October 1||October 1 maximum net income|
|1||$ 250||$ 1,396||$ 1,074|
|2||$ 459||$ 1,888||$ 1,452|
|3||$ 658||$ 2,379||$ 1,830|
|4||$ 835||$ 2,871||$ 2,209|
|5||$ 992||$ 3,363||$ 2,587|
|6||$ 1,190||$ 3,855||$ 2,965|
|7||$ 1,316||$ 4,347||$ 3,344|
|8||$ 1,504||$ 4,839||$ 3,722|
|Each additional person||+ $ 188||+ $ 492||+ $ 379|
Howard said the minimum allowance is $ 20 and all food assistance benefits are based on household size, household income and allowable deductions.
USDA provides buying strategies and meal plan advice to help families serve more nutritious meals at an affordable price 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 low-cost healthy recipes and create cookbooks and shopping lists.
For more information on the Kansas Food Aid Program, click HERE.
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