Food Policy Bites: SNAP Spending Projected to Decrease in FY 2023 Despite Higher Unemployment Expectation

Food Policy Bites Issue #2: Expenditures for the foundational Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) are projected to decrease in fiscal year (FY) 2023 after record-level spending in FY 2022, according to a FAPRI model. Several factors are believed to drive this change. As COVID-induced temporary assistance programs expire, average SNAP benefits are projected to decline (despite a 12.5% increase to FY 2023 SNAP maximum benefit levels). This decline in average benefits is large enough to offset the effect of a higher unemployment rate, which S&P Global projects will rise by one percentage point in 2023. Participation in SNAP tends to rise during economic downturn; however, lower benefit allotments might attract fewer people to participate.

Actual SNAP expenditure changes will vary based on more solidified unemployment figures and any temporary policies enacted. FAPRI’s preliminary projections shed light on the prospective direction of SNAP expenditures, which account for most farm bill spending.

Food Policy Bites are easily-digestible food policy insights supported by economic data analytics and analyses.