SNAP recipients receiving additional pandemic-driven boosts to their benefits will soon see a reduction in their payments as the emergency allotments end.
The additional funds, which were put in place to offer temporary relief to low-income households affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, provided recipients with at least an additional $95 to their existing benefits.
Seventeen states have already ended emergency allotments to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, while 32 states (plus the District of Columbia, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) will end the boost in March. SNAP recipients living in South Carolina will see their benefits return to pre-pandemic levels this month. The extra support is ending following the passage of a federal spending bill, according to the Food and Nutrition Service.
Additionally, many households will see additional reductions in SNAP benefits come March following the extraordinary 8.7% hike in January to the annual cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security payments. Some SNAP beneficiaries receiving Social Security could lose their food assistance entirely.
The benefit drop comes at a time when food inflation is up 11.8% from last year, leaving shoppers to search for ways to save at the grocery store. If one of those ways is leaning on extra help from SNAP benefits, consumers may need to look for new ways to put food on the table.