HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro says his budget addresses food insecurity among seniors and people with disabilities.

Shapiro says the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program would receive a $16 million increase in his proposed budget.

The minimum benefit would increase by 52%, according to Shapiro.

“It shouldn’t be OK to anyone here, especially when we’re talking about a $44 billion budget, that people are going to bed hungry and kids are going all day without a meal,” said Shapiro.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture began offering the increased benefit in April 2020 in response to surging unemployment after the COVID-19 pandemic swept over the country, however the federal program ended in March 2023..

The result is that depending on the politics of a state, individuals and families in need find themselves eligible for significantly different levels of help buying food.

The Associated Press contributed to this report