End of Texas SNAP Benefits
The end of Texas SNAP benefits has brought about an overwhelming challenge for food banks as they struggle to cater to the increased demand for food assistance. The Tarrant Area Food Bank in Fort Worth has reported a reduction in food support at a time when there is record inflation in grocery prices, cuts in federal funding, fewer donations of food from retailers, and a decline in community donations. The food bank has also had to reduce the number of groceries it gives out to each client, with senior citizens, particularly vulnerable.
During the early days of the pandemic, the US Department of Agriculture gave states the option of providing every SNAP recipient with the maximum allotment for the duration of the health crisis. This move significantly reduced child poverty rates, and lifted 4.2 million Americans out of poverty, according to an Urban Institute analysis. However, in December, Congress voted to end those expanded benefits early, commencing March 1. For this reason, households with SNAP will lose at least $95 per month, while some lose several hundred dollars a month.
Feeding Texas and other advocacy groups are urging state lawmakers to decrease restrictions that prevent low-income Texans from accessing the help they need. Julie Butner, the head of the Tarrant Area Food Bank, is hoping that Congress will increase support for SNAP recipients and food banks in the next farm bill.
Many Texans are unable to pay for necessities such as rent, utilities, groceries, and transportation due to low wages. Butner stressed, that a lot of the people who need food bank support are working, but they don’t earn enough to cover necessities. The end of SNAP benefits means that many will have to make do with even less, putting them at a higher risk of hunger and poverty.
The end of Texas SNAP benefits has resulted in a difficult situation for food banks and low-income Texans. With record inflation in grocery prices, reduced federal funding, and fewer donations, many people are struggling to get the food they need. Therefore, state lawmakers and Congress must find ways to support SNAP recipients and food banks, especially during times of crisis. It is our responsibility to support these organizations and advocate for policies that will help Texans in need.