Austin, Texas (KWKT) — SNAP food benefits in Texas and across the nation will be reduced by an average of 5 percent beginning Nov. 1. This is because the temporary increase in benefits from the federal stimulus passed in 2009 is expiring. The amount of the drop will vary depending on the family's situation, and the largest monthly decrease will be no more than $11 a person.
The state has sent letters to families letting them know about the decrease in benefits.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the stimulus, was passed and signed into law in 2009. It increased SNAP amounts by 13.6 percent. The portion of that increase that was not absorbed by annual cost of living increases will expire Oct. 31.
SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program funded by the federal government and administered by states. In Texas, about 3.5 million people receive SNAP food benefits totaling about $400 million per month. The amount of benefits is based on the family’s size and income, with an average benefit amount of about $285 per month. The benefits are put on a Lone Star Card which can be scanned like a credit card to buy food.