CHANGES TO SNAP BENEFITS
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps, provides assistance to low-income families and individuals to help them buy nutritious foods to keep them healthy. So when the pandemic hit in March 2020, the federal government authorized an emergency increase to monthly allotments to help SNAP recipients pay for groceries.
However, these emergency allotments ended February 28, 2023, returning SNAP households to their regular benefit amounts. This shift is putting a strain on those who depended on the additional benefits, particularly during this time of high inflation. And, even in this short timeframe, the Food Bank has seen an impact.
In the first three months of 2023, FBSJ served 58 percent more people than the same period last year. In March alone, we served 48 percent more people – more than 150,000 neighbors. Also, 60 percent of our agency leaders reported that there was more or significantly more need at their agency in March, and more than 40 percent said that the reduction in SNAP benefits was the cause.
FBSJ anticipated this rise in demand and purchased more food for our 200+ partner agencies. We will also
continue to monitor and support our agencies in meeting the increased need.