There is a significant campaign to ensure that the almost 30 million Americans who received additional government assistance with grocery expenditures during the pandemic are not surprised when that assistance suddenly shrinks.
To inform consumers that their extra food stamps expire after February’s payments, officials in 32 states and other jurisdictions have been deploying SMS, voicemails, snail mail, leaflets, and social media posts – all in several languages.
“One of the scenarios you don’t want to see is that the first time they become aware of it is in the grocery store checkout line,” said Ellen Vollinger, a nonprofit Food Research & Action Center representative.
Our analysis reveals that the move will result in an average recipient receiving $90 less each month, however, for many, it may be substantially more. According to the U.S., benefits usually resume, determined mainly by a household’s income, size, and specific expenses.
SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is managed by the Department of Agriculture.
According to a public announcement, the 1.3 million recipients in Michigan were asked to “search essential resources” to make up for the reductions.
Inflation affects all of us, so we want to ensure our customers are ready for this transition, said Lewis Roubal with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
Jacqueline Benitez, 21, a preschool teacher in Bellflower, California, anticipates that the $250 in food benefits she has been receiving through CalFresh, the state’s SNAP program, would be significantly reduced—possibly by half.
Benitez, formerly homeless but now resides in a government-subsidized one-bedroom apartment, said, “It’s such a lifesaver.” “Eating out is such a significant expense. It gives me a little anxiety to consider not having that.
Congress passed the emergency plan at the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, and it was expanded a year later.
The additional benefits were initially planned to last for the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The current deadline is May.
Nevertheless, more than 10 million people’s payments have already been scaled back by 18 states, and Congress agreed to end the program early in exchange for a new, permanent program that gives low-income families extra money to replace school meals during the summer.
Researchers attribute that most Americans had enough to eat despite the outbreak to emergency money. In 2020 and 2021, about 10% of US households reported having problems affording enough food.
With inflation and other causes, SNAP payments may increase or decrease.
To reflect an annual cost-of-living adjustment bolstered by higher costs for meals and other commodities, maximum payments increased by 12% in October.
Nevertheless, because of the 8.7% cost-of-living rise implemented by that program on January 1st, payouts decreased for those who also get Social Security benefits.
According to Stacy Dean, USDA deputy undersecretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, most of these circumstances should see stable purchasing power.
The pullback occurs when food costs are still high and inflation, despite the improvement, is still high.