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How the post-pandemic cut in SNAP benefits will affect millions End-shutdown




youhe COVID-related increase in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will end next month in 32 states, along with the District of Columbia, Guam and the US Virgin Islands.

Further than 41 million Americans will be affected by the change, and many families It is expected that receive at least $95 less per monthaccording to the research and policy think tank Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Congress previously issued temporary increases to address food insecurity during the pandemic, when unemployment rates shot to a halt of almost 15% and more than 22 million jobs were lost. But the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, which outlines appropriations to federal agencies during the year, ended emergency aid allocations after February 2023. Eighteen states, mostly Republican-led, have already fell their additional assignments because they previously ended their emergency declarations.

Research shows that emergency allowances helped keep 4.2 million people above the poverty line in the last quarter of 2021, mostly help the black and latino population.

The change comes amid soaring rates of food inflation, with staples like eggs up 138% from last year. Food banks who previously spoke to TIME have also reported increased need since the pandemic, as they balance increased demand for assistance and rising food prices that incur higher costs.

“The things I used to buy, now I can’t afford them,” Mamie Wallace, 60, who depends on the New York City Food Bank for supplemental grocery needs previously reported to TIME. “I did not realize [food inflation at first] because I had my freezer stocked, but since it’s been over a year, things are starting to run out.”

But even when research shows that 1 in 10 Americans are currently living in a food insecure household, House Republicans are looking to cut food stamps further and enact stricter work requirements for recipients in an effort to decrease the federal deficit. Conservative leaders, such as former Office of Management and Budget director Russell Vought, have called for broader cuts to social programs, including more than $400 billion in cuts to food stamps, according to washington mail.

And in conservative-majority states like Iowa, state legislators introduced a new bill that limit the types of food recipients could buy. The proposal would not allow people to buy white grains —that is, they could only buy 100% whole grain bread and pasta—, baked beans, fresh meat or sliced ​​cheese, among other limits.

Other SNAP waivers will be affected shortly after the federal public health emergency ends on May 11. This includes Temporary exemptions for SNAP students, which allowed certain students who were enrolled at least part-End-shutdown toward their higher education degree to receive food stamps. They will lose aid in June, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), though some may still be eligible if they meet regular student exemption guidelines, which may include working at least 20 hours a week, caring for to a child or not. be able to work

Under the emergency appropriations, the government also temporarily halted End-shutdown limits on SNAP benefits that able-bodied adults under age 50 who have no dependents and are not pregnant could receive. Adults will now go back to the old standard, which said they couldn’t get food stamps for more than 3 months within a 3-year period unless they met certain employment guidelines.

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