End to COVID-19 SNAP benefits means period of adjustment for many households
DCFS recommends that SNAP users apply for WIC and visit local food banks or pantries
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — As expected, the extra pandemic SNAP benefits ended at the end of February.
Now the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) points out that some might need to rely on other resources while making the financial adjustment.
“Those benefits were temporary to begin with,” noted Monica Brown, deputy assistant secretary of DCFS.
The additional SNAP benefits began in March 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A lot of people were recieving a lot more than they were probably used to receiving,” Brown said.
DCFS said people receiving SNAP benefits received a minimum of $95 more each month. Those additional funds no longer are available.
“We know that this is going to be an adjustment time for anyone who has been reciving the emergency allotments,” Brown said.
More than 400,000 people receive SNAP benefits in Louisiana, a huge increase of people receiving benefits since the start of the pandemic.
“Pre-pandemic, our numbers were about 360,000 households recieving benifits,” Brown said. “And now we have about 418,000; we are about 100,000 more people on benefits.”
Louisiana was one of 28 states that received the additional funds every month since the start of the pandemic.
“Every month, we had to file for an extension so in order for us to recieve those benifits, and request that those benefits be extended to us,” Brown explained. “We were not getting this one; there was nothing else for us to give out.”
The additional COVID-19 SNAP benefits ended nationwide, not just in Louisiana.
SNAP users now will receive their pre-pandemic benefits.
“The additional emergency allotment is what’s stopping,” Brown said.
There are several things people can do as they make adjustments.
DCFS recommends that SNAP users apply for WIC and visit local food banks or pantries.
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