Spending on USDA’s food and nutrition assistance programs reached a new high in 2021

Area chart showing inflation-adjusted USDA expenditures for food assistance programs, fiscal years 1980-2021

Federal spending on USDA's food and nutrition assistance programs totaled $182.5 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2021, 49 percent more than the previous high of $122.8 in FY 2020. Spending on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) also reached a new high and increased by 44 percent from FY 2020 to FY 2021. Spending on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) increased by one percent. Combined spending on the four largest child nutrition programs increased by 27 percent. Spending on two temporary programs created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic—Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer and the Farmers to Families Food Box Program—accounted for 17 percent of the total in FY 2021.

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