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The pandemic-era SNAP program is ending, and many are at risk of losing access. Photo: Pixabay.

ParentsTogether Action warns of ending pandemic-era SNAP benefits

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program's pandemic-era relief is ending in March.

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ParentsTogether Action, a parent advocacy organization with more than 3 million members across the United States, reported that SNAP's pandemic-era benefits will expire in 32 states at the end of February, affecting millions of families in all the country.

“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,” pointed out the organization.

What were SNAP's pandemic-era benefits?

For nearly three years, since the start of the pandemic, the "emergency allocations" received by households that are part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) have allocated at least an additional $95 per month per household to spend on food.

According to a government spending bill, which was passed by Congress in December of last year, the benefit increase will end in March of this year, meaning millions of families will see a reduction in their monthly share of SNAP.

The end of these emergency benefits, already in place in 18 states, comes as Republicans in Congress seek to cut federal food assistance even more drastically amid debt ceiling talks.

Ailen Arreaza, executive director of ParentsTogether, noted:

Further cuts to essential policies helping families to keep food on the table would be unconscionable – and those politicians responsible will pay a political price.

A revealing survey

ParentsTogether recently conducted a survey of more than 500 parents about their financial security amid today's difficult economic climate and the end of SNAP's panedmic-era benefits.

The study, which was conducted between Feb. 1 and 9, 2023, highlighted the following results:

  • 64% of respondents said their family is having a hard time making ends meet right now
  • 64% said shopping for groceries is one of their biggest challenges
  • 60% highlighted difficulties paying for essential parenting and supplies such as diapers, formula and menstrual products
  • 57% highlighted difficulties in paying for public services
  • 41% indicated problems affording housing
  • 18% reported a lack of paid work leave

The full survey results are here.

“At a moment when food distribution centers are seeing increases in demand as American families struggle to feed their children, Republican lawmakers are putting families in their political crossfire by threatening to dramatically decrease spending on essential programs like SNAP. The timing of this could not be worse,” added Arreaza.

The 17 states where emergency appropriations have already ended are: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wyoming.

For the remaining 32 states, plus Washington, D.C., Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the additional funding will end in March.

To apply for benefits or get information about SNAP, eligible parties must apply through a state office. Click on your state on this map for contact and application information.

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