Some of the money that people depended on to feed their families will no longer be available beginning on Wednesday.
The COVID-19 era boost to the government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is scheduled to end on March 1, The Washington Post reported.
Families qualified for SNAP had extra funds deposited into their accounts as the pandemic raged.
The funding was passed by lawmakers in 2020, and in 2022, Congress decided to stop the extra funding after February. The funds were always intended to be a temporary measure.
About 41 million people depend on SNAP, with the amount given to families based on a household’s size, income and some expenses, The Associated Press reported.
Food banks and programs are bracing for the fallout as the economy continues to suffer.
“We’re calling it a ‘hunger cliff’ because people are going to lose in a very precipitous fashion a very large amount of grocery money,” Ellen Vollinger, the SNAP director of the anti-hunger nonprofit the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), told the Post. “We know a lot of these households don’t have a lot cushion in their budgets.”
The FRAC said the average beneficiary will lose around $90 a month.
Meanwhile, the deadline should not come as a shock to those who receive SNAP benefits, as officials across the country have tried to alert them through text messages, voice mails, mailers and social media posts sent in 32 states, the AP reported.
Michigan leaders have been attempting to have its 1.3 million SNAP recipients find other resources.
“We want to make sure our clients are prepared for this change, as we realize inflation is affecting all of us,” Lewis Rouba of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, told the AP.