Emergency allotment SNAP benefits to end in March

Janice Tosto (right) and Bebashi team
Janice Tosto (right) and Bebashi team Photo credit Shara Dae Howard/KYW Newsradio

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Soon, many households receiving SNAP will see a change to their benefits.

Starting in March, SNAP recipients will go back to getting one payment per month, as opposed to getting an additional payment in the second half of every month, which was made possible through Emergency Allotments that started during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

The Department of Human Services says this is due to a change in federal law, which means nearly two million people in Pennsylvania will see their monthly benefits reduced by $181 per month on average.

Janice Tosto with Bebashi, a Philadelphia nonprofit, says this change will increase the already heavy burden placed on food pantries like hers.

“Even now, we’re seeing a tremendous uptick,” Tosto said. “We are seeing all kinds of people come through our pantry – white, African American, Latino, Asian. We are seeing everybody.”

"There’s such a demand that sometimes you’ll come in and the shelves and fridges will be empty."

She says many families rely on these benefits to put food on their tables each month.

People like Simone Gantt feel the cost of food is so high and that she often sacrifices meals to pay rent, despite her working full time.

“I can’t live off of my income and I’m struggling with trying to keep food in my house,” Gantt said.

The Department of Human Services told KYW in a statement they recognize the loss of an extra payment will impact older and lower-income Pennsylvanians most, so they encourage people to make donations to charitable organizations and pantries to help mitigate the stress on families.

Resources for those in need of food assistance can be found here.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Shara Dae Howard/KYW Newsradio