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Historic Increase in SNAP Benefits Takes Effect

Families and individuals enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, are now seeing their benefits go up thanks to an historic update to the program that went into effect October 1. The nearly 848,000 Tennesseans enrolled in SNAP will now see a 21% increase in average monthly benefits ($36 per-month) – the largest increase in the program’s history.

The major change comes after a review of the program revealed benefit levels were too low to provide for a realistic, healthy diet, even with households contributing their own funds toward groceries. A USDA study published earlier this summer found that nearly nine out of 10 SNAP participants reported facing barriers to achieving a healthy diet, with the most common barrier being the cost of healthy foods. 

“SNAP is one of the most powerful tools to ensure our community is food secure,” said Caroline Pullen RDN, Senior Manager, Nutrition & Innovation at Second Harvest. “With this increase, our clients have a more adequate amount of benefits to purchase the nutritious foods they need for their families to flourish. Less will face the impossible decision to feed their families or pay their bills.”

View the updated income threshold below, in addition to the new maximum SNAP allotments:

Household sizeNet Monthly Income Eligibility StandardsGross Monthly Income Eligibility StandardsMaximum SNAP Allotments
9Each additional person add $379Each additional person add $492Each additional person add $188

Resource limits for households with at least one member that is age 60 or older or is disabled will increase to $3,750. All other household resource limit will increase to $2,500.

If you are not currently enrolled in SNAP, you can apply online:

The portal to check the status of your SNAP application can be accessed here:

If you need assistance with SNAP, Second Harvest is here to help. Contact Kate Pearce by calling or texting our SNAP assistance line at 615-310-0752 or email Kate (

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