PAN benefits to increase after USDA plan revaluation
By The Star Staff
Starting Friday, Nutritional Assistance Program (PAN by its Spanish acronym) beneficiaries will see a hike from 11% to 20% in benefits depending on their family’s composition, the Family Department announced earlier this week.
Alberto Fradera, who heads the Family Socioeconomic Development Administration, said “the issuance for families that have already received this month’s benefits will be on October 15 for the digits 0, 1, 2 and 3.”
“On Saturday, October 16, families with digits 3, 4, 5 and 6 will receive the adjustment,” he said.
The official said in written remarks that the rest of the families will receive the increase on the date they receive their monthly benefits.
As a result of the revaluation of the benefits of the Economical Food Plan (Thrifty Food Plan, or TFP), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved an increase of $463.8 million to the block allocation that Puerto Rico receives for PAN, which represents around an additional 21% in annual resources.
The increase places Puerto Rico’s annual federal allocation at $2.5 billion.
“The fact that we can increase the benefits to vulnerable families a little more represents a great relief in the midst of the efforts we make to obtain equal benefits,” Family Secretary Carmen Ana González Magaz said.
The increase is in addition to the benefits received as part of pandemic assistance, with the exception that the adjustment announced Wednesday is permanent.
PAN currently provides assistance to 875,501 families of which there are 1,554,748 participants in Puerto Rico.