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Biden issues executive orders aimed at increasing SNAP and Pandemic EBT benefits

The orders seek to up federal food assistance for families struggling amid COVID-19. 
Biden speaking at podium
Photograph: Shutterstock

President Joe Biden will sign two executive orders today aimed at upping federal food assistance for families hit hard by the pandemic. 

The first executive order would ask the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to allow states to extend Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits by 15% to help the lowest income households. The move would allow an additional 12 million people to get enhanced benefits, according to a fact sheet issued by the White House

Biden is also asking the USDA to consider increasing Pandemic EBT benefits by 15%. Currently, P-EBT allows families with students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches to receive up to $5.70 per child per school day. With a 15% increase, the White House says it could provide a family with three children over $100 in additional financial support every two months. 

The second executive order would also call on the USDA to revise the Thrifty Food Plan, the basis for determining SNAP benefits, to give families enrolled in SNAP an easier time purchasing foods needed for a healthy diet. 

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