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A sign noting the acceptance of EBT cards that are used by state welfare departments to issue benefits is displayed at a convenience store in California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Biden administration on Monday announced a major permanent increase to food assistance benefits, providing additional aid to low-income families.

Why it matters: It's the largest increase in the history of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), with average monthly benefits set to rise by around $36 per person.

  • In January, Biden issued an executive order increasing the scope of SNAP and other food assistance programs, prompting the reevaluation of the Thrifty Food Plan, which is used to calculate SNAP benefits.
  • The changes reflect the "shifts in the food marketplace and consumers’ circumstances," since the program was created in 1975 per the Department of Agriculture.
  • The increase is slated to begin on Oct. 1, for fiscal year 2022.

The big picture: Nearly 43.8 million people were on the program in 2020, up from 35.7 million in 2019, Axios' Oriana Gonzalez writes.

  • The increase excludes additional funding provided by pandemic-related aid and comes as many states are rescinding their emergency declarations, the Washington Post notes.
  • The coronavirus drove federal spending on the program up by an average of 28% per month last year, nearly double the largest monthly growth seen during the Great Recession.

Go deeper

How D.C.'s Capital Area Food Bank is fighting food insecurity

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

For 42 years, the Capital Area Food Bank has served food-insecure families in the D.C. region — and doing so during the holiday season in a pandemic is no small feat.

  • “There's still so many who are still very vulnerable, who are still suffering the effects of COVID,” Radha Muthiah, president and CEO of the Capital Area Food Bank, which partners with 450 nonprofit organizations in the D.C. area.

Broadband subscriber growth stalls after pandemic gains

Expand chart
Data: S&P Global; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

A new report from Kagan, the media research unit of S&P Global, shows that broadband subscriber growth has "cooled significantly in the third quarter," stalling in growth for the first time in three years.

Why it matters: The decline can be attributed to "a difficult comparison with the booming gains of 2020," the report says.

Pelosi announces bid for reelection ahead of 2022 midterms

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced her bid for reelection Tuesday, amid a deluge of other safe-seat Democrats announcing their retirements.

Why it matters: Pelosi’s announcement follows months of speculation — despite her denials — that she was preparing to leave Congress.