CBO says SNAP expenditures to decline, child nutrition to rise
In its latest budget report, the Congressional Budget Office said Monday it expects outlays under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to decline slightly, while outlays for child nutrition programs will rise slightly.
“Outlays for SNAP, which provides benefits to help people in low-income households purchase food, held steady at $76 billion in 2015,” CBO said, adding that its analysts estimate that spending for the program commonly known as food stamps will decline slightly this year, to $75 billion, and that 45 million people will receive those benefits.
“The number of people collecting SNAP benefits, which increased dramatically in the wake of the most recent recession, is anticipated to continue to decline gradually over the coming years as the economy strengthens,” CBO continued.
“Average per-person benefits are expected to remain the same in 2016 as they were last year, but they are projected to increase thereafter because of adjustments for inflation in prices of food. On the basis of the assumption (specified by the rules governing baseline projections) that the program will be extended after it expires at the end of fiscal year 2018, CBO projects that by 2026, 33 million people will be enrolled in SNAP and the program’s outlays will total $74 billion.”
CBO projects that federal spending for child nutrition — which provides cash and commodities for meals and snacks in schools, day care settings, and summer programs — will rise by 4 percent in 2016, to $23 billion.
“Much of that growth stems from an increase in the number of free lunches served in the school lunch program. CBO anticipates that growth in the number of meals provided and in reimbursement rates would lead to spending increases averaging 4 percent per year from 2017 through 2026, boosting total spending to $34 billion in 2026.”
–The Hagstrom Report
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