Food and Drink

Pandemic-era SNAP benefits end as millions face rising costs

This month, people receiving SNAP benefits will begin getting the amount they received prior to the pandemic.

Pandemic-era SNAP benefits end as millions face rising costs
A woman shops for groceries
Allison Dinner/AP
SMS

Millions of Americans will see a reduction in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits this month. The additional federal funds, put in place to help people during the COVID-19 pandemic, expired at the end of February. 

Families will now receive the SNAP benefit amount they received prior to the pandemic. For some families, that could mean hundreds of dollars less every month for groceries. 

The Department of Agriculture says more than 41 million people receive SNAP benefits. 

Up until last month, 32 states were still providing the additional emergency allotments. Some states, including Arizona, Florida, Mississippi and Wyoming, had already stopped offering the extra benefits.

This isn't the only reduction in SNAP benefits people may see this year. The Department of Agriculture says SNAP payments could also be reduced for those receiving Social Security benefits. 

This year, people on Social Security received the largest cost of living increase in four decades. Since SNAP benefits are based on household income, the amount received could be reduced. 

It's estimated that nearly half of all SNAP recipients are on Social Security. 

The reduction in benefits comes at a time when Americans are paying more for groceries. Egg prices are up as much as 60% in the last year. Flour, butter and margarine are also up more than 20%. 

People who are worried about not having enough money for groceries are encouraged to contact their state to find out about other programs that may be able to assist them in accessing food. 

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