Hurting the Poor Again: Food Stamp Benefits Cut as Part of 2023 Spending Bill

As many states end their emergency allotments early, a hunger cliff looms for millions of Americans who rely on food stamps to feed themselves and their families. According to a report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 18 states have already ended their emergency allotments, which provided additional funding for food stamp recipients during the pandemic.

The remaining states are set to end their allotments in the coming months.

Out With The Old

This change is due to a provision in the Omnibus spending bill, which passed in December 2022 and will be redirecting some of the funding that was being used to support emergency allotments to other programs. As a result, millions of Americans who rely on food stamps will see their benefits decrease, putting them at risk of going hungry.

Food prices are still higher than normal, 11.3% higher this January than last year. The continued increase in food prices will make this loss even more significant for struggling families.

“This hunger cliff is coming to the vast majority of states, and people will on average lose about $82 of SNAP benefits a month,” said Ellen Vollinger, SNAP director at the Food Research & Action Center, an anti-hunger advocacy group. “That is a stunning number.”

A family of four could lose up to $328 a month in SNAP benefits. Elderly Americans will be hit the hardest because they already receive the minimum monthly benefit. They could experience a drop in benefits as staggering as $281 to $23 per month.

Increased Demand

Food banks are also bracing for the impact of the cuts, as they are likely to see an increase in demand for their services. Kyle Waide, president and CEO of Atlanta Community Food Bank said, “Like many food banks across the country, we are experiencing that lines are getting longer. We've seen a 40% increase to our network over the last 15 months.”

Food banks have been a crucial source of support for many Americans during the pandemic, but they are already struggling to keep up with demand.

Waide predicts that demand at food pantries across the country will only increase going forward.

People Reaction

Many people on social media are expressing concern about the impact that these cuts will have on vulnerable communities. One Twitter user, @iam_kimberlyjo, tweeted, “Colorado is making me laugh today. We are reducing your food stamps and we know you will have a hard time surviving so here are some tips. Don’t say we didn’t ever do nothing for you. Girl bye.”

One user argued that people should work and not accept free handouts.

Someone else pointed out that the government clearly thought people would need more money to cover the cost of food, so it is unfair of them to take it away.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.