SNAP recipients to lose portion of monthly benefits when COVID-19 emergency funding ends

Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 10:42 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – It’s already been a busy time for Channel One Regional Food Bank.

“Comparing 2022 to 2021, we were up 30% in shoppers at our food shelf here alone, and across the region we saw similar numbers,” said Executive Director Virginia Merritt.

After more than three years, the COVID-19 emergency declaration will come to an end in May. President Joe Biden announced that earlier this week.

The end of the emergency federally will mean the government will no longer be able to provide emergency funding in several areas, including food stamps. According to the USDA, more than 42 million Americans took part in America’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Many Channel One shoppers use the food bank as a resource when their monthly SNAP benefits run out, and when emergency funding ends, Merritt said there will be a significant cut to the grocery budgets of all SNAP users. Many of these participants may soon be down nearly $100 monthly.

“The pandemic benefit is ending at a time when people are less likely to be able to afford their groceries then at any point during the pandemic,” Merritt said.

Merritt said the food bank is continuing to keep up with the increased demand, and little changes being made, such as making school lunch free, can make a difference for many of these families in need of the money they’re set to lose.

Channel One reports it is spending more than ever to buy groceries in general.

Many of its biggest donors are also dealing with this issue, and thus, have less food to donate.