Increased SNAP payments towards end of pandemic era add to burden already experienced by low-income households

A pandemic-era increase in the amount of money low-income people receive for groceries is coming to an end, creating the possibility of a surge in food insecurity.

An emergency allowance has given households enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, at least $95 more per month to spend on food for over three years.

The extra allotments have already come to an end in 18 states. The remaining 32 states and Washington, D.C. will follow by the end of February, adding financial pressure on those already trying to make ends meet.

SNAP Benefits

The temporary increase in SNAP payments each month has already been discontinued in 18 states.

Tanisha Ferran, a mother from Wooster, Ohio, who is unable to work due to persistent back difficulties, said: “I’m not scared that I won’t be able to make it, because I will be.” But every month, it will be like, by a hair’s breadth.

Anti-hunger activists claim that there has been a discernible increase in suffering among food-insecure households in the states that have already ended the allotments.

After May, Georgia stopped giving out emergency SNAP benefits. According to Kyle Waide, president and CEO of the Atlanta Community Food Bank, which serves 29 counties, visitation climbed by nearly 34% between July and December compared to the same time last year.

Waide ascribed the rise in demand to the elimination of the allotments as well as other pandemic-era policies like the universal free lunch program and the child tax credit.

For a number of reasons, he added, “we’ve been concerned about the lengthening lineups at food pantries. And as it turns out, those worries and concerns were well-founded.”

The SNAP emergency allocations weren’t ever meant to be long-term. They were meant to endure until the Covid public health emergency was deemed to be ended, which the Biden administration indicated this week would be in May. The SNAP surplus beyond February was instead restricted by a last-minute clause in the government’s omnibus budget plan.

Other Reports, Food Inflation

According to a new Axios research, the parabolic rise in food costs slowed slightly in December, but prices were still up more than 10% year over year as Americans spent more than normal on groceries and restaurants.

One of the most significant ways that many Americans feel the effects of inflation is via their grocery prices.

Families that are struggling financially are forced to make difficult decisions about what to buy — and what to avoid — as the price of necessities like eggs, milk, and other foods rises.

The decision of whether to absorb the costs or pass them on to consumers can be challenging for restaurant and other company owners.

According to the U.S., the cost of all foods nationwide increased 10.4% over the previous year in December. Labor Statistics Bureau.

While the price of food eaten in restaurants increased by 8.3%, the cost of food made at home increased by 11.8%.

All of those are marginally lower from previous peaks reached towards the end of 2022.