Change will allow more Pennsylvanians to receive SNAP food benefits

Anthony Maenza
York Dispatch

Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services will increase the income threshold for all applicants to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), in effect increasing the number of people who qualify for food benefits.

The change, set to take effect Saturday, makes 420,000 additional Pennsylvania residents eligible for SNAP. Those individuals will receive, on average, $63 a month, according to DHS. 

“Being able to eat and nourish yourself every day is one of the most essential building blocks to living well and doing everything else in life,” said Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Executive Deputy Secretary Andrew Barnes. "It’s easy to take for granted, but for too many people, being able to afford your next meal isn’t a given. SNAP helps to make that possible."  

Highmark Wholecare President and CEO Ellen Duffield, left, and Executive Director Eric Saunders are shown inside the New Hope Ministries mobile food pantry in Dillsburg, Monday, Aug. 8, 2022. Highmark Wholecare presented the nonprofit with a $75,000 grant which will allow New Hope to add a second mobile food pantry to their community offerings. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Specifically, the income threshold will now be 200% of the monthly federal poverty line. For a single-person household, the threshold would be $2,266 per month; $3,052 for two people; $3,840 for three; $4,626 for four; $5,412 for five; $6,200 for six; $6,986 for seven; $7,772 for eight; $8,560 for nine; $9,348 for 10; and an additional $788 per person for households larger than 10.

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In addition to SNAP benefits, Pennsylvanians experiencing food insecurity can access programs including Farmers Market Nutrition Program, Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System Program and the Senior Food Box Program. 

"While our food banks strive to provide nutritious food for all Pennsylvanians facing hunger, our work is only a fraction of what the federal nutrition programs can accomplish. For every meal our food banks provide, SNAP provides nine," said Jane Clements, CEO of Feeding Pennsylvania, in a statement. 

Applications for SNAP and other public assistance programs can be submitted online at www.compass.state.pa.us. SNAP and Medicaid applications are accepted by phone by calling the Consumer Service Center at 1-866-550-4355.