New adjustment to SNAP benefits will take effect Oct. 1

If you rely on government help to buy food, it looks like your benefits are going up in October.
Saturday Morning Maine
Published: Sep. 24, 2023 at 3:25 AM EDT
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PORTLAND, Maine (WMTW) - The federal government has announced an increase in the amount of benefits for those who receive the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or SNAP.

The added help comes as high food prices at grocery stores see families turn to food banks and pantries to try to meet the need.

SNAP benefits are determined by how much a household makes per month and the number of people living there. A single person can qualify if their income is $1,580 or less a month. A family of four can earn no more than $3250 per month to qualify.

The new maximum SNAP benefit:

  • One person will be $291
  • A family of 2 will be $535
  • A family of 3 will be $766
  • A family of 4 can be allotted $973

Each additional person adds $219.

Data shows over 161,000 Mainers received SNAP benefits in 2022. Thousands of Mainers lost a big chunk of their food money when pandemic-era benefits ended earlier this year.

Hazel Willow is a single mother who says this increase will help her better provide for her family.

“Knowing there’s going to be a little bit more makes it feel like, OK, I don’t have to be angry. No school snacks after school, mom, you know, it changes how you can show up for your kids, too,” Willow said.

Willow says she is happy to see the increase.

“It’s always you always rest a little easier knowing you aren’t going to have to worry about something for your kid. Food is such a huge part of it, for yourself as well,” Willow said.