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Income eligibility for food assistance benefits expanding to reach more Pennsylvanians




More than 420,000 Pennsylvania residents will be eligible to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, beginning October 1

The state Department of Human Services announced that it is raising income eligibility thresholds for this program, formerly known as food stamps, to 200%, up from 160%, of the federal poverty income guidelines for all families and not just those with seniors and individuals with disabilities as is currently the case. .

Currently. Eligibility threshold for higher income households only with seniors, individuals with disabilities, etc.

This change will likely expand eligibility to more than 174,000 households, enabling them to receive, on average, $63 per month for food assistance.

“The ability to eat and nourish yourself every day is one of the most important building blocks for living well and doing everything else in life. It’s easy to take for granted, but for many people, being able to afford your next meal isn’t something they take for granted. “SNAP helps make that happen,” said Andrew Barnes, deputy executive secretary of the Department of Human Services, who spoke at an event on Thursday marking September as Action Against Hunger Month.

SNAP already helps more than 1.8 million Pennsylvanians by saving money each month to spend on groceries, which helps families have the resources to buy enough food to avoid starvation.

“Expanding eligibility for SNAP allows us to extend the deferment period for people who may suffer so that we can help more Pennsylvanians meet this most important need that truly drives us to live, work, grow and thrive,” Barnes said.

Along with SNAP benefits, food insecure Pennsylvania citizens can access the Farmers Market Nutrition Program, the Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System Program, the Senior Food Fund Program, and more.

“While our food banks strive to provide nutritious food to all Pennsylvanians facing hunger, our work is only a tiny fraction of what federal nutrition programs can achieve. For every meal our food banks provide, Feeding Pennsylvania offers Jane Clements. SNAP Nine. “We are grateful to the Wolf administration for recognizing the need to expand access to SNAP to families who were outside the eligibility limit, yet remain in dire need of support to make ends meet.”


SNAP is a federally funded program run by states. States have the flexibility to set eligibility thresholds for income through the federal broad categorical eligibility policy.

With this change coming in October, the monthly income limits for all families eligible for SNAP are as follows: $2,266 for one-person households, $3,052 for two-person households, $3,840 for three-person households, $4,626 for four, $5,412 for five, $6,200 for six, $6,986 for seven, $7772 for eight, $8,560 for nine; $9,348 for 10. Limits increase by $788 for each person who exceeds that.

Applications for SNAP and other public assistance programs can be made online at, by calling 1-866-550-4355, or visiting the county help office.

Jean Murphy can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @JanMurphy.

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