The Roadmap proposes to reduce food insecurity for 640,000 Marylanders by increasing funding for these 3 programs that already exist, but are all underfunded:
Summer SNAP for Children
● Maryland’s Summer SNAP for Children builds on the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which reduces food insecurity and poverty for 530,000 Maryland households.
● Summer SNAP for Children helps families access food during school breaks by providing a state and county funded supplement of $30 per child, per summer month that is automatically added to existing SNAP accounts.
● More than 400,000 children are currently eligible for Summer SNAP for Children, including 130,751 children ages 0-5 and 261,945 children ages 6-18. However, given inadequate funding levels, only 4,290 children received this support in 2021.
● The total cost to fully fund the program is just $100 per child, per year – a total of $27.6 million in state funding. Towson University economists found that increasing funds for this supplement will “greatly benefit” the economy while reducing food insecurity, creating additional jobs, and increasing tax revenues.
SNAP Minimum Monthly Benefit
● While SNAP significantly reduces food insecurity and poverty, the monthly SNAP benefit provided by the federal government is too low for many recipients. The average SNAP benefit is $128 per person, per month, but the minimum SNAP benefit is just $20 per person, per month.
● Marylanders over age 62 benefit from a state-funded SNAP supplement to bring their benefit level up to a minimum of $30 per month and 31,454 people received this supplement in 2020.
● However, 55,000 people in Maryland are currently left out of this supplement because they are under age 62. Less than $7 million in additional state funding would allow all residents to receive at least $1 a day for food.
Maryland Meals for Achievement
● The Maryland Meals for Achievement program allows students in 590 schools to start their day well-nourished and ready to learn with universal free school breakfast in the classroom.
● An additional $4 million would fully fund the program so that all eligible schools could participate. This additional funding would benefit more than 185,500 students in about 300 schools.
● Expanding access to this school breakfast program is particularly important in secondary schools given the alarming food insecurity survey results from the Maryland Department of Health. This survey found that about 30% of all high school students are food insecure and that students of color are at a significantly higher risk.
$38.6 million will fully implement these programs to support over 640,000 Marylanders, including 130,751 young children (ages 0-5), 261,945 school-aged children (ages 6-18), 55,000 Marylanders in very low income households, and 185,500 students.