The pandemic took a toll on many in various ways, from mentally and physically to even financially. Many lost their jobs and had to rely on government funding to survive. Fortunately, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) was able to help many during the public health crisis.
On March 1, however, the pandemic addition to the SNAP benefits ended in the remaining 32 states. The diminished SNAP benefits will result in at least a $95 decrease in food assistance, meaning many families will have to cut down on groceries to fit within the budget. The public health crisis left many individuals in difficult positions, even limiting grocery shopping.
To help families put food on the table, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. It wasn't intended to be a permanent act and was planned to end once the pandemic ended. The extra money allowed 4.2 million individuals to stay out of poverty, diminishing poverty by 9.6% in certain states, per the Urban Institute research.
The extra dispersement disbursement also reduced child poverty by 14% in states receiving the benefits.
"This is a change that will increase hardship for many individuals and families, especially given the modest amount of regular SNAP benefits, which are only about $6 per person per day, on average," says the director of federal SNAP policy for the institute Dottie Rosenbaum.
Which states will stop receiving additional SNAP benefits?
Individuals who received extra SNAP benefits in 32 states, in addition to Washington, D.C., Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, will not receive the extra funds from March 1. Certain states, including Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wyoming, already stopped receiving additional funds before March.
Per the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, families will lose at least $95 per month up to $250 or more.
“They’ve never seen what real SNAP looks like or how little that they’re actually going to get,” said the senior manager of police and government relations at City Harvest, a New York City-based food rescue organization Keith Carr.
Around 50% of U.S. families that benefit from SNAP also collect Social Security benefits, and many will depict a modification in their monthly SNAP payments to match the cost of living.
The agency concluded: "All impacted households will experience a net gain, as the adjustment increases Social Security benefits more than it decreases SNAP benefits."
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