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Supplemental SNAP Benefits End, What Will Happen Next?

SNAP Benefits
Supplemetal SNAP benefits end. (Photo: KTTN)

As temporary pandemic enhancements to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) expire, food stamp recipients may be in for a shock, with the average person receiving around $90 less in benefits per month.

SNAP Benefits

Supplemetal SNAP benefits end. (Photo: KTTN)

Supplemental SNAP Benefits End

Emergency allotments that were put in place in response to the Covid-19 pandemic to help individuals and families cope with food insecurity are being phased out across the US, with 32 states, Washington, D.C., Guam and the Virgin Islands ending the enhancements as of March.

Congress terminated SNAP’s emergency increases with the December government funding bill, and the broader federal public health emergency is scheduled to end on May 11, according to a published article in CNBC.

Once the extra aid ends, every household in the affected states will receive at least $95 per month less, and some households will see a loss of $250 or more in benefits based on their incomes. “It will unfortunately leave a lot of families across the country scrambling to stretch their budgets,” said Poonam Gupta, research associate at the Urban Institute’s Income and Benefits Policy Center. The change comes as inflation is still reflected in higher prices on grocery store shelves.

READ ALSO: SNAP Emergency Allotments Come To An End

Effect of Terminating the Supplemental SNAP Benefits

Tens of millions of people will see large amounts of benefits missing from what they otherwise would have expected, said Ellen Vollinger, SNAP director at the Food Research and Action Center. “This is a very precipitous change,” Vollinger said. “It hasn’t given a lot of time for customers to even know this is coming.”

In a published article in NBC News, to mitigate the impact of this change, some states are considering or have enacted state funds to help replace the lost federal benefits, either on a temporary or permanent basis. The Food Research and Action Center is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and state agencies to spread the word about the change to make sure people are not surprised by a benefits shortfall at the grocery store checkout counter.

The Food Research and Action Center has advocated for congressional legislation to address the problem, including the Closing the Meal Gap Act, which would increase the minimum SNAP benefit and eliminate certain eligibility limits.

The proposal had the support of more than 100 House Democrats and certain Senate Democrats in 2021 and 2022. Spending on SNAP is slated to be part of the debate as lawmakers look to pass a new farm bill. However, a reinstatement of the pandemic-era benefit enhancements is unlikely, Gupta said. In fact, some House lawmakers have called for cutting back on SNAP spending, Vollinger noted.

READ ALSO: $939 To Boost In 2023 Food Stamp (SNAP) Benefits And State Emergency Allotments Will End This Month

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