Submitted by Dianne Hosterman
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program’s (SNAP) emergency allotments (EAs), which are temporary benefit increases that Congress enacted to address rising food insecurity, and provide economic stimulus during the COVID-19 pandemic, have ended. This will result in a benefit cut for every SNAP household in the jurisdictions that still are paying EAs. Every household will receive at least $87 a month less. Some households, who under regular SNAP rules receive low benefits because they have somewhat higher, but still modest incomes, will see reductions of $248 a month or more.
The temporary benefits pushed back against hunger and hardship during the pandemic. A study estimated that EAs kept 4.2 million people above the poverty line in the last quarter of 2021, reducing poverty by 10 percent, and child poverty by 14 percent, in states with EAs. The end of the temporary EAs will be a significant change that will increase food hardship for many individuals and families, given the modest amount of basic SNAP benefits and high recent inflation in food prices. Without the EAs, SNAP benefits will average only about $6.10 per person per day in 2023.
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