Release | August 16, 2021

Mission: Readiness Commends USDA Update of Thrifty Food Plan, SNAP Benefits

Action Follows Congressional Directive Included in Bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mission: Readiness praised today’s announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that it has conducted a major reevaluation and modernization of the “Thrifty Food Plan” used to calculate Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. The update will provide a significant increase in the average assistance to beneficiaries in the new fiscal year, nearly half of whom are children.

“USDA’s announcement that it has modernized the Thrifty Food Plan is welcome news for 20 million children–about one in four kids–who rely on SNAP benefits. Thanks to the USDA and bipartisan leadership in Congress, benefits will better reflect the cost of maintaining a healthy diet,” said Mission: Readiness Member Lieutenant General Norman R. Seip, U.S. Air Force, Retired. “Ensuring kids have access to fresh and nutritious food is vital in the fight against child obesity, a leading medical disqualifier from military service.”

The 2018 Farm Bill, passed with bipartisan support and signed into law by former President Trump, directed USDA to regularly reevaluate the Thrifty Food Plan with respect to “current food prices, food composition data, consumption patterns, and dietary guidance.” An Executive Order signed earlier this year by President Biden directed the Secretary of Agriculture to begin the reevaluation, ahead of the statutorily required 2022 deadline.

Mission: Readiness members have long urged policymakers to prioritize the regular update of federal nutrition programs to account for changing program costs and stronger nutritional standards. Related Mission: Readiness policy priorities, including a call to update food packages provided under the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), can be found in the Mission: Readiness Nutrition Policy Roadmap policy paper.


Lieutenant General (Ret.) Norman R. Seip, a founding member of Mission: Readiness, spent more than three decades in service to the United States Air Force, supporting multiple combat operations, and managing both Air Force assets and personnel.

Mission: Readiness is the nonpartisan organization of nearly 800 retired admirals and generals working to help kids stay in school, in shape, and out of trouble so that they are prepared to succeed in the military or whatever career they choose.


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