SNAP Emergency Allotments – which provided households with at least $95 extra a month – will end
For nearly three years since the start of the pandemic, households that participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) have received ‘emergency allotments’ that have provided at least $95 extra per month per household to spend on food. Following a government spending bill passed by Congress in December 2022, the boost in benefits will end in March of this year and millions of families will see a reduction of their monthly SNAP installment.
41 million Americans are currently receiving SNAP benefits. Benefits are distributed once a month and eligibility is based on income, among other factors. The SNAP Emergency Allotments provided an average of $82 extra per month per person and have been critical as the cost of living has made making ends meet even more difficult. Older adults at the minimum benefit level will see the steepest reduction, with SNAP benefits falling from $281 to $23.
For families in 17 states, the emergency allotments already ended. Those states include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wyoming. In South Carolina, benefits returned to pre-pandemic levels this month. For the remaining 32 states, plus Washington, D.C., Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the extra funding will end with the March benefit.
In October of 2022, however, SNAP benefits also saw a cost of living increase which will remain in place. But families receiving SNAP who also receive Social Security may see even more of a reduction in SNAP benefits. The Social Security cost of living increase, which went into effect last month, will impact eligibility for SNAP – and some Social Security households may lose their SNAP eligibility altogether.
Food distribution centers in states where the program ended are already seeing an increase in demand. For eligibility information please visit the USDA FAQ site. To apply for benefits or get information about SNAP, you must apply through your state office – you can click your state on this map for contact and application information.
Summer Meals for Kids
While the pandemic related boost is ending, families with kids in school should know that they may be eligible for some additional assistance this summer. As part of its end of the year spending package in 2022, Congress passed additional funding for a summer EBD (P-EBT) program for eligible school children. The program will give the families of about 30 million children nationwide $40 per child a month to spend on groceries using electronic benefit transfer, or EBT, cards.