Getting Answers: pandemic SNAP benefits ending
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Pandemic SNAP benefits, formerly known as food stamps, are coming to an end. The move will impact more than 41 million Americans with final allotments going out tomorrow. Many Massachusetts families are expected to receive at least $151 less per month after that.
“On average, in Massachusetts, it was about $151 per household and so families have been receiving that extra COVID SNAP since March 2020 and then when the Consolidated Reparations Act passed last December, it sunset those benefits affected now,” said Brittany Mangani, associate commissioner for food security and nutrition programs at the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance
More than 630,000 Massachusetts homes have been relying on emergency allotments from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those families will receive their final extra payments on Thursday, then regular benefits will resume.
“That is a substantial amount, especially when you look at the increasing cost of food, especially just the basic items like eggs, milk, butter. I mean, the costs are pretty high, so any sort of dip in SNAP funding is definitely going to affect our clients,” said Danielle Lataille, social services director for the Springfield Corps of The Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army in Springfield is one local organization that said they expect to see an uptick of people coming into their food pantry due to the emergency SNAP benefits coming to an end.
“We just received a delivery from our partner, the Food Bank of Western Mass., and we’re out purchasing food as well to make sure our shelves are stocked and we’re ready for the influx of new and returning clients,” Lataille added.
Lataille told Western Mass News that they are also welcoming any food donations from the community to help keep up with the need. She added that, as the emergency SNAP benefits come to an end, their doors will remain open to anyone.
“The Salvation Army pantries are open to everyone and anyone, so just come to one of your local Salvation Army pantries and we will be happy to serve you,” Lataille explained.
Additional resources available to help families and individuals in Massachusetts:
- Community food resources - call or text Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline: 1-800-645-8333
- If you have children under age five, are pregnant, or breastfeeding, you may be eligible for the WIC nutrition program: mass.gov/WIC or call 800-942-1007
- All K-12 students can get free school meals this school year
- Rent or mortgage help: Call 2-1-1 or go to mass.gov/covidhousinghelp
- Fuel Assistance help paying for heat: go to toapply.org/MassLIHEAP or call 800-632-8175
- Money to help pay for the internet or a computer: getinternet.gov or accedeainternet.gov
- Get help with 2022 taxes and any COVID stimulus or Child Tax Credit money you are owed: FindYourFunds.org
- If you have children, are pregnant, and have no income or low income, you may be able to get TAFDC cash benefits. If you are 65 or older or disabled with no or very low income you may be able to get EAEDC cash benefits. Learn more/apply: DTAConnect.com
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