Pandemic SNAP benefits end February 28 in Ohio

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Temporary Emergency Pandemic Benefit ends February 28 in Ohio for more than 750,000 people.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Temporary Emergency Pandemic Benefits for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ends in 32 states. One of those states is Ohio, where more than 750,000 of his SNAP recipients had their benefits cut on his Feb. 28, Return to pre-pandemic levels in March.

Local organizations such as Connecting Kids to Meals, the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank, and the Regional Office for Aging all say this economic shift will hurt everyone.

Food shortages became a problem during the COVID-19 pandemic, so the government gave emergency quotas to SNAP recipients. But with inflation hitting grocery bills, there’s little that can be avoided. To make matters worse, 756,000 Ohioans would lose additional his SNAP funding, according to data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Keeping Kids Meal President and CEO Wendi Huntley said the loss averaged $172 per SNAP recipient.

“$172 is the average amount,” says Huntley. “Some families lose $440, $450. Some families lose $85 or $90.”

James Caldwell, president and CEO of Toledo Northwest Ohio Food Bank, said the financial change would have a trickle-down effect.

“Food will still be expensive,” Caldwell said. “People will be able to buy less with the current funds available, which means more pressure on food banks.”

Many people and organizations will soon be affected, he said. But overall, Caldwell predicts that there will eventually be a new normal when it comes to purchasing.

Rebecca Reeves, vice president of nutrition and wellness for the Regional Service on Aging, said that in addition to her office, various programs such as United Way 211, food banks and pantries serve 8,000 people in 10 counties. He said that he can help older people.

“We have an advanced farmers market nutrition program,” said Reeves. She said, “There are also meals at the senior center.”

Huntley agreed that Northwest Ohio has many county and community resources to help families and individuals adjust to economic change. But those resources are already exhausted, she said.

But even with the expansion, the aging population, the regional office that connects children to meals, and the Toledo Northwest Ohio Food Bank all said they are still here to help.

“A chain is only as strong as its weakest link,” Reeves said. “If one person suffers, the whole community suffers.”

https://www.wtol.com/article/news/local/pandemic-snap-benefits-end-feb-28-ohio/512-642313a3-96d7-4a55-8341-250c25934c05 Pandemic SNAP benefits end February 28 in Ohio

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