Congress Could Cut Billions in Future SNAP Benefits in Texas

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For Immediate Release: 05/17/2024
Contact: Wesley Story 

Congress Could Cut Billions in Future SNAP Benefits in Texas

New Feeding Texas report shows importance of regular updates to the Thrifty Food Plan.

TEXAS – Today, U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chair Glenn “GT” Thompson released his Farm Bill proposal. The proposal would freeze the cost of the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP), the basis for SNAP benefits, outside of inflation adjustments. According to Rep. Thompson, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates his plan would result in a roughly $30 billion SNAP cut over the next decade that would affect every SNAP participant. This would include an estimated $2.29 billion cut in Texas. Over the longer term, the cuts would grow larger and SNAP benefits would become inadequate to prevent hunger and support a healthy diet.

To shed light on the implications of Thompson’s proposal, Feeding Texas releases our Texas Thrifty Food Plan Impact Report. The report shows the impact of the 2021 TFP adjustment by looking at the estimated TFP increase, meal increase, and jobs supported in all 254 counties due to the increased SNAP benefits in fiscal year (FY) 2022.

“Keeping SNAP benefits adequate is critical to fighting food insecurity across Texas and the nation,” said Celia Cole, CEO of Feeding Texas, the state association of food banks. “This latest proposal would limit the USDA’s authority to adjust the cost of the Thrifty Food Plan to accurately reflect the cost of a frugal, healthy diet. Our report shows how effective it can be when SNAP benefits are updated to respond to the needs of communities facing hunger.”

In the bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill, Congress directed the USDA to update the TFP by 2022, and at regular five-year intervals after that, “based on current food prices, food composition data, consumptions patterns, and dietary guidance.” The resulting update was the first in the plan’s history and led to a meaningful increase in SNAP benefits for families across the country.

The 2021 update helped reduce poverty in America. The increase to SNAP benefit amounts helped keep 2.3 million people above the poverty line and decreased child poverty by 8.6%, according to Feeding America. In Texas, the update brought an estimated $1.502 billion increase in benefits, or nearly 483 million additional meals, to Texas to feed families in need in 2022. The update also helped to stimulate the Texas economy, supporting an estimated 18,006 jobs.

“The 2021 modernization of the Thrifty Food Plan was a comprehensive, practical and overdue update that increased the purchasing power of SNAP benefits for the first time in nearly 50 years,” Cole said. “The adjustment made up for five decades of shortchanging families with inadequate benefits, and we should not wait another 50 years to do the same thing. Allowing the USDA to continue to use the most up-to-date data to make regular adjustments will help ensure that SNAP benefits remain adequate for participants, while also preventing sudden, large increases to the value of the Thrifty Food Plan.”

There is bipartisan support among likely voters for increasing SNAP benefit amounts to reflect changing food costs and modern-day food preparation. A majority of Democrats (93%), Independents (78%) and Republicans (78%) approve of the change Congress made in the 2018 Farm Bill that required regular updates to the amount people could get in monthly SNAP benefits, according to Feeding America.

Despite the progress made with the 2021 TFP update, SNAP benefits still do not keep pace with current food prices—falling short of what families need to help keep food on the table. SNAP benefit inadequacy leads to higher need for communities experiencing food insecurity and increases pressure on food banks.

“In the last year, Texas food banks have witnessed a surge in demand for food assistance, reaching levels not seen since the height of  the pandemic,” Cole said. “Maintaining the adequacy of SNAP benefits is good for everyone. Cutting future benefits would undermine SNAP’s ability to prevent hunger and make it harder for food banks to meet the needs in our communities. Continued modernization of the Thrifty Food Plan is essential to help ensure that SNAP participants—a majority of whom are children, seniors and people with disabilities—can better afford the nutritious foods we all need to thrive.”

Feeding Texas and our network of food banks is calling on Congress to maintain the USDA’s authority to modernize the Thrifty Food Plan regularly to account for important factors beyond inflation that affect the cost of a frugal, healthy diet, including changes in dietary guidelines and food consumption patterns.

VIEW REPORT: Read the full Texas Thrifty Food Plan Impact Report


Feeding Texas is a network of 20 food banks and leads a unified effort for a hunger-free Texas. Learn more and find your local food bank at 

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