PAN funds for Puerto Rico hiked to $2.5 billion
By The Star Staff
Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón announced Monday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved an increase of $463.8 million to the block allocation received by Puerto Rico for the Nutrition Assistance Program, known on the island by its Spanish acronym, PAN.
The increase raises the amount Puerto Rico receives to $2.5 billion.
“In Congress, I have advocated for increases to the program as it represents additional support for the more than 1.5 million people who participate in this program,” the resident commissioner said in written communication.
The increase will be effective on Oct. 1, when the next federal fiscal year begins.
The USDA noted that Section 19 of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 requires that the funding level of the nutritional assistance block grants for Puerto Rico and American Samoa be adjusted based on the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) each year.
As required by the 2018 Farm Bill, the Food and Nutrition Service has completed a reevaluation of the TFP, which is used to establish benefit amounts for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as SNAP. As a result of the TFP reevaluation, the plan’s actual value will increase by 21 percent, driving a resulting increase in Puerto Rico’s block grant.