For millions of Americans who depend on food stamps, it’s going to be a lot harder to fill their pantries beginning in March.
As a national pandemic hunger relief program comes to an end three years after being approved by Congress, individual food stamp recipients will each receive, on average, roughly $90 less per month in benefits, CNN reports.
Households receiving food stamp benefits will see their monthly benefits reduced by at least $95.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, some larger families could see $250 or more cut from their monthly Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits.
“It’s something that people are going to notice,” Dottie Rosenbaum, director of federal SNAP policy at the center told CNN. “It’s $3 billion a month that’s going to food that’s not going to be there anymore.”
Already stretched thin by an increase in demand due to soaring grocery prices, food banks and pantries are bracing for a new wave of need.
The pinch will be felt in the 32 states and District of Columbia that were still providing the emergency allowances, which boosted monthly food stamps to the maximum for the household size or at least $95 per month. According to CNN, the pandemic benefits were already terminated in 18 states.
As of November, more than 42 million Americans received SNAP benefits, according to the most recent federal data. The end of the pandemic program means that the average food stamp benefit will drop from about $9 per person per day to about $6 in 2023, according to the center.
According to Stacy Taylor, head of policy and partnerships at software company Propel, which provides an app to check SNAP balances, food stamp recipients in states that had already ended the program are struggling.
These recipients report higher rates of eating less, relying on others for meals, skipping meals and visiting food pantries than those who live in states that continued the pandemic allotments, Taylor told CNN, citing data from the company’s monthly surveys of more than 5 million users.
Pam Ford, 46, is unemployed and used the monthly benefits increase to buy more fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, crackers and peanut butter for her two sons, who are ages 4 and 1. Using her main monthly benefit of $645, she started to stock up on steaks, ground beef and canned fish when she heard the extra benefits were ending.
Ford is already planning recipes that will enable her to make the most of her foodstuffs, such as Mexican rice and beans dishes and is planning to serve more breakfast fare for dinner.
“Anything that still has the substance, but it doesn’t cost as much as everything else,” she said.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
Leave a Reply