The SNAP Food Assistance Program Is Changing Again — Here’s What That Means for Families

published Apr 10, 2023
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As the United States shifts to a post-pandemic state, we’re seeing many changes to our daily lives. And although some of these are positive, we’re also seeing impacts to fundamental programs that provide essential support to families across the country. The government food assistance program is one of them. 

At the start of the pandemic, the government passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, allowing for SNAP emergency allotments. As a result, millions of families across the country received extra funds to support their families. And depending on household size, some families saw hundreds in extra SNAP funds. 

This past December Congress enacted the Consolidated Appropriations Act, terminating the SNAP Emergency Allotments program, with March being the first month SNAP recipients saw a decrease (by at least $95) in their benefits back down to pre-pandemic amounts. 

SNAP is one of the largest social programs in the United States. and provides support to more than 42 million people each year. Created in 1939 during the Great Depression, the program was designated to provide support to food-insecure households. Over the years, however, the program has gone through many changes, including this recent one that comes at a time where families are facing increased food prices due to inflation. 

Although the SNAP program supports millions of families throughout the U.S., there are still many who aren’t quite sure what the program is, how it’s used, and how important it is. Here’s what you should know about it and how the new changes could impact your community.

Who is eligible for SNAP? 

To receive SNAP benefits, you have to enroll in the program and be accepted. Low-income and no-income households that make less than $28,000 a year are eligible. You can learn how to apply here.

How do you use SNAP?

SNAP funds come in the form of a plastic Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card and can be used to buy food items from grocery stores or even farmers markets. Certain products, like hot foods and alcohol, are not eligible. You can learn more here.

How will these cuts impact your state?

Move for Hunger created infographics that explain the impacts state-by-state. Learn more about how these cuts affect your state here.

How can you help?

Call your local representatives and advocate for the SNAP program benefits. Donate to your local food bank and ensure their shelves stay full, or try hosting a food drive or fundraiser. You can also donate monetary funds to your local food bank or organizations like Move for Hunger or World Central Kitchen.