Pennsylvanians were informed of forthcoming changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits by acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Val Arkoosh.
Beginning in March, SNAP recipient families will once again receive one SNAP payment at a time and will no longer receive the Emergency Allotment (EA) supplemental payment made during the COVID-19 health emergency.
The recent federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, which was passed, is to blame for this.
“We are aware that the enhanced SNAP payment has been a lifeline for many over the previous three years and that high food costs and persistent economic uncertainty are factors in the high rate of food insecurity in Pennsylvania. The brave humanitarian food partners of Pennsylvania may assist you and your family, according to Acting Secretary Val Arkoosh. “Now is the time to support your local food assistance agencies as they get ready to meet this probable increased demand,” I implore everybody who can give food or resources.
All SNAP participants will experience this change, and households will receive letters in the mail informing them of the adjustments to SNAP benefits.
COVID-19 Federal Emergency
The COVID-19 federal emergency made money available in 2019, and the DHS started giving EAs as a second monthly payment to SNAP recipient households that have been receiving benefits since March 2020.
This February will be the last month that EAs are distributed according to federal law.
The government claims it is aware of the potential effects these modifications may have on households and wants to ensure that families in need of food assistance are aware of where to turn for assistance:
One may apply online at www.pawic.com or by calling 1-800-WIC-WINS if you are a SNAP user who is pregnant or has children under the age of five.
They may also 211 or www.pa211.org may be used to connect with a variety of nearby food resources;
Find local food banks and other food aid organizations by visiting www.feedingpa.org;
To eradicate hunger, visit www.dhs.pa.gov.
The DHS Customer Service Center may be reached at 877-395-8930.
Pennsylvanians who need to report changes to their family size, income, or spending are advised to do so online at www.dhs.pa.gov/COMPASS (or 215-560-7226 for Philadelphia residents).
Due to budget cuts in the 2023 Omnibus spending plan, millions of SNAP participants should expect to see a reduction in their benefits as early as March. Advocates for ending hunger claim that the measures would quicken the approaching hunger cliff.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic’s outbreak in 2020, Congress boosted SNAP payments through emergency allotments (EAs). These EAs, which were given to households in addition to their regular monthly SNAP payments, assisted in reducing the nation’s growing food insecurity rates.
Despite the fact that some states have already terminated their EAs, more than half continued to offer the supplementary benefits into the new year.