Illinois food assistance rate 6th-highest in nation

Illinois food assistance rate 6th-highest in nation

Thanksgiving will come from SNAP benefits for 1 in 6 Illinoisans this year. That is the nation’s sixth-highest rate, with inflation and a recession looming.

Over 2 million low-income Illinoisans will put turkey on the table this Thanksgiving with federal food assistance, the sixth most in the U.S.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program reports show 15.9% of Illinoisans received food benefits in August 2022. That’s 1 in 6 Illinoisans.

It is also 5.2% more residents than in August 2021. Nationwide SNAP participation increased just 0.9% during that time.

While food stamps will help Illinois families put food on the table this Thanksgiving, decades-high inflation and supply chain shortages mean SNAP benefits won’t stretch as far for program participants.

Axios reports found enjoying a full Thanksgiving meal will cost families one-fifth more than last November, with the price of a 16-pound turkey alone increasing 21% since 2021.

SNAP benefits per Illinois recipient were about $250 a month in August 2022. A Thanksgiving meal for 10 with all the stuffing is estimated to cost $64.05 this year.

One bright spot for Illinoisans buying their own Thanksgiving this year is that Illinois suspended the 1% grocery tax until July, but then the taxes resume unless state lawmakers take permanent action to end the tax. Illinois is one of only 13 states that tax people’s need to eat, and if the state can live without that revenue for a year then maybe the money should stay in residents’ wallets.

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