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Some Households Could See Double Reduction in SNAP Benefits in 2023
The FDA is encouraging the public to support local food banks, mutual aid organizations and food banks that will likely see an increase in demand following the loss of assistance.
An end to pandemic-era SNAP benefits could be a double blow to households currently receiving Social Security, SSI, or VA benefits. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced that a temporary boost to SNAP benefits put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic will end nationwide, including Louisiana, in February. This coincides with a reduction in benefits following an increased cost of living allowance for those households.
On Jan. 1, 2023 the Social Security COLA increase took effect, increasing the monthly Social Security Retirement, Survivors and Disability Insurance (RSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and some Veterans Administration (VA) payments by 8.7%. This increase in income may have already reduced the monthly SNAP allotment for those households. The end of the COVID-19 SNAP benefit, a minimum of $95 per month, could present a second blow to those families.
“Emergency allotments were always going to be temporary,” noted Assistant Secretary of Family Support Shavana Howard. “Still, we know this news will be unsettling to recipients who have counted on the additional food assistance for the past three years, especially as they struggled with the health and economic crisis brought on by the pandemic.”
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The FDA is encouraging the public to support local food banks, mutual aid organizations and food banks that will likely see an increase in demand following the loss of assistance for already stressed households. The situation could be further exacerbated by runaway inflation, and a slowing economy. On Tuesday the World Bank slashed 2023 growth forecasts, leading to increased fears that a global recession is on the way.
According to Feeding America, 1 in 7 adults and 1 in 5 children face hunger in Louisiana. Currently, 44.9% of the households receiving SNAP in the state have children. Sadly, those benefits are already not enough for most households. The nonprofit estimates an additional $312,959,000 is needed to meet the food needs of struggling Louisiana families - a number that is likely going to increase thanks to this reduction of benefits.
If you or your family is struggling with food insecurity, you can find a list of resources here, or contact Second Harvest at 504-734-1322 if you live in the New Orleans, Northshore, and Bayou areas. For those who live in the Lafayette and Acadiana regions, the number is 337-232-HELP.
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ReportNOLA is the sole creation of Jennsen Bentley - a local, independent journalist who is dedicated to serving the community of New Orleans. As a proud member of the Society of Professional Journalists, he is dedicated to ethical reporting on issues that matter.