By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The Biden administration announced on Monday, the largest permanent increase in food stamp benefits, in the program’s history.

Starting in October, average benefits for food stamps, officially known as the SNAP program, will rise more than 25% above pre-pandemic levels.

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The average amount per recipient will increase from $121 to approximately $169 dollars a month. The aid will apply to all 42 million Americans covered under the program, which grew from 37 million in February 2020 due to the pandemic.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried applauded the SNAP benefit increases for Florida families in the program.

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“Helping Florida families access the food they need to grow and thrive is one of my top priorities,” said Commissioner Fried in a statement. “These changes will make it easier for Floridians to feed their families and access healthy foods. They will also help create good-paying jobs and boost our state’s food economy as families spend more on groceries. I’m proud to work with USDA as we make these much-needed investments in the health and success of the people of Florida, especially as so many families work to get back on their feet after being impacted by the pandemic.”

The boost stems from an update to the Thrifty Food Plan, which determines benefit amounts by estimating the cost of groceries needed to provide a budget-conscious diet for a family of four.

“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,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Ensuring low-income families have access to a healthy diet helps prevent disease, supports children in the classroom, reduces health care costs, and more. And the additional money families will spend on groceries helps grow the food economy, creating thousands of new jobs along the way.”

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In addition to families with children, many food stamp recipients are disabled Americans or senior citizens on fixed incomes. Team