Food stamp benefits for almost 30 million Americans set to expire as pandemic winds down

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The federal government is terminating pandemic-related payments for low-income families on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on March 1, marking the end of nearly three years of such payments, ABC News reported.

The termination of additional SNAP benefits has already been implemented in 18 states, affecting around 12 million Americans. The remaining 32 states and the jurisdictions of Washington, D.C., Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands will do the same on March 1.

According to a study conducted by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the average household’s monthly grocery budget will be reduced by $95 as a result of the termination of pandemic-related SNAP benefits.

Some recipients may lose several hundred dollars a month in food assistance depending on various factors, including their family size and income.

The discontinuation of the additional SNAP benefits coincides with wages that are failing to keep pace with persistently high inflation rates.

Food prices have increased by 10.1% in the past year, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, with essential items such as butter experiencing a 31% surge in prices, while breakfast cereals and bread have each increased by 15%.

As per a study conducted by the Urban Institute, the increase in SNAP benefits has been a crucial source of support for numerous Americans, with 4.2 million people being lifted out of poverty since the fourth quarter of 2021, as reported by ABC News.

The additional funds were always meant to be temporary and were designed to cease once the Biden administration announced the conclusion of the COVID-19 pandemic, which it intends to do in May. Congress exchanged the extra “temporary” benefits for a new “permanent” program that would replace school meals during the summer for low-income families.

Written by staff