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Biden Exec Order, USDA Appointments, 15% SNAP Boost, College Students and More!

What an exciting and emotional week. In the face of of sky high food insecurity, a worsening pandemic, and the scourge of white supremacy in our country - We are very glad to be in this new era and we are deeply optimistic about opportunities for change. Which brings us to...
 
BREAKING NEWS! Biden signing executive order TODAY (1/22) seeking to boost SNAP, expand P-EBT, and more!
 
See news coverage from today that President Biden (at 2:45 PM if you want to watch!) will be signing an Executive Order to seek to boost SNAP benefits for the lowest income SNAP households, who have to date not gotten a supplemental boost because of the prior administration's decision to limit supplemental payments to households not already at the maximum grant. The order will also direct USDA to allow a boost in P-EBT benefits, and more!
 
See NPR, NYTimes and Washington Post. For an in depth overview of the press release from the administration, see this ABC news article here This is HUGE news - and was one of the top priorities from the SNAP Coalition to the transition team! We are thrilled. A lot remains in terms of details, what USDA will tell states, and what DTA does - it's too early for details. But, we wanted to share that this is VERY positive news!!
 
SNAP Coalition Mini Meeting Tues Jan 26 10-11 AM: 
 
We are hosting a short SNAP Coalition Meeting on Tuesday, January 26th, for those of you able to join. We will send the Zoom link on Monday but just wanted to have a chance for folks to talk about this breaking news, as well as set aside time to update everyone on the state legislative and budget campaigns underway: The SNAP Gap/Common App; Universal Free School Meals and Hunger Free Campus campaigns, boosting HIP, Lift Our Kids and More. 
 
USDA appoints Stacy Dean as Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services - WOW!!
 
This is WONDERFUL news!! For many years, Stacy was the Vice President for Food Assistance Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). She has been a steadfast advocate for low income communities and had a huge influence on SNAP policy. She is thoughtful, smart, and deeply committed to improving federal nutrition programs. We could not be more thrilled to wish her congratulations on this new role. USDA is lucky to have her! See USDA press release here. 
 
15% SNAP boost is starting 2/1, retroactive for January - How DTA will issue 
 
The 15% boost (approximately $27 per person) will be issued on the same day as the supplemental payment - the second business day of the month. What this means:
  • on February 2, households will be issued the 15% boost amount for January. 
  • For those eligible for a supplement, they will get the supplement and the 15% boost amount on the same day. 
  • For those already at the maximum grant and therefore not eligible for a supplement (under current guidance), they will get the 15% boost amount only on the 2nd. 
DTA will be sending text messages. DTA will not be mailing notices (just as no notices are mailed for the supplemental payments). See attached for more information from DTA. 
 
MLRI is working on updating our SNAP calculators and other materials, stay tuned on that! For now, attached is a summary of the current SNAP math factors including the grant amounts with the 15% boost and the recently increased 200% Federal Poverty Level amounts. 
 
SNAP and College Students 
 
Attached is a memo we shared yesterday with the Single Points of Contact and other stakeholders, explaining the new student rules in the recent Omnibus Appropriations Act (the COVID package from December). We are hoping to engage colleges in connecting more students with SNAP. 
 
 
SNAP 101 Basic Benefits Training Feb 3
 
Please join us for our annual SNAP 101 Training on the morning of February 3rd. We will be focusing heavily on all the COVID related SNAP changes. The training is hosted by MCLE and starts at 9:30 AM til Noon. To register, go HERE.  Be sure to click on “Non-Lawyer Advocate” to get the reduced ($35) registration fee.