Media Relations Manager
Arlington, VA (August 17, 2021) — The following is a statement by Ramsey Alwin, President and CEO of the National Council on Aging (NCOA), in response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) revision to the nutrition standards for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
“On behalf of millions of older adults and their families, the National Council on Aging applauds the Biden Administration and USDA for updating the nutrition standards for SNAP, which will result in an historic and permanent 25% increase in average benefits under the program.
“This decision comes at a critical juncture, as emergency SNAP benefits provided during the pandemic are set to expire nationwide on September 30, and the additional benefits are already gone in several states that have terminated their emergency declarations.
“We know SNAP works in reducing hunger, but we also know the program has not kept up with rising food costs. Recent research from NCOA and the Leading Age LTSS Center @UMass Boston clearly demonstrates that SNAP plays an important role in reducing food insecurity and skipped meals among older adults—especially during economic downturns—yet 85% of older SNAP users’ benefits were below the lowest USDA food budget.
“Hunger among older adults disproportionately affects women, people of color, and those with the lowest incomes and poorest overall health. This permanent increase to SNAP benefits effective October 1 will have an immediate and long-lasting impact on their lives and will help break down existing inequities.
“Food security is at the very core of a person’s ability to age well. NCOA will continue our long-standing work to connect eligible older adults to SNAP and advocate for improvements in their access, so they can live with greater health and financial security.”
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is the national voice for every person’s right to age well. We believe that how we age should not be determined by gender, color, sexuality, income, or zip code. Working with thousands of national and local partners, we provide resources, tools, best practices, and advocacy to ensure every person can age with health and financial security. Founded in 1950, we are the oldest national organization focused on older adults. Follow us at @NCOAging.