Food and Nutrition Programs

This page will be updated continuously to reflect the most recent information. This page was last updated on May 20, 2021.

The?American Rescue Plan?includes over $12 billion in nutrition assistance, including temporary increases for SNAP and WIC benefits, as well as additional funding for programs that provide aging, disability services, and mental health services.? 

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) 
The American Rescue Plan extends the 15 percent increase to monthly SNAP benefits through September 2021, and extends SNAP eligibility to college students who are eligible for a federal or state work study program or for certain types of federal student aid. The bill also excludes Pandemic Unemployment Compensation from being counted toward household income for SNAP benefits and eligibility for the month of receipt and the following 9 months For more information on accessing SNAP benefits in Illinois, please?click here.  

Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) 
The American Rescue Plan invests $900 million in the WIC program, including funds program modernization, innovation, and outreach to better serve over 6.2 million people that use WIC to support a healthy start for infants and young children. It also temporarily increases the portion of amount of fruits and vegetables WIC participants can purchase with their benefits from $9 to $35 per month through September of 2021, expanding access to fresh local produce and encouraging healthier eating patterns. For more information on accessing WIC benefits in Illinois, please?click here. 

Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) 
Congress created the P-EBT program as part of the??Families First Coronavirus Response Act? to provide temporary food benefits to children who receive free or reduced-price school meals under the National School Lunch Program. P-EBT only provides benefits for days that students are remote learning, but without being offered a meal at school, or home for an approved COVID-related absence. The P-EBT program delivered over $6.7 billion in food benefits through June 2020 when schools were closed. The American Rescue Plan goes further and ensures that States can provide P-EBT benefits for the full duration of the pandemic, including during the summer of 2021. For more information, please?click here

Senior Nutrition Programs 
The American Rescue Plan provides an additional $37 million for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, which provides nutritious, domestically sourced and produced food packages to low-income, elderly individuals. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 provided an additional?$175 million in funding for the Older Americans Act Nutrition Programs (OAA), ?and continues to extend? temporary waivers for OAA nutrition services? through FY 2021. For more information, please?click here.?For information about Meals on Wheels, please?click here. 

SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot Program 
The American Rescue Plan provides $25 million to USDA to expand SNAP online purchasing and the development of mobile payment technologies for SNAP benefits, as well as to provide technical assistance to retailers and farmers markets as they adopt these new technologies. With these investments, we hope to make it easier for participants, especially individuals in rural areas, as well as those with physical limitations, to order and pay for their groceries online. Click here for more information.