PORTLAND, Ore. (KGW) — Oregonians who receive help through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will no longer get pandemic emergency food benefits come March.
For nearly the past three years, most people who got SNAP benefits, commonly called food stamps, also received extra help each month on their electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card. The additional assistance was provided to help families during the pandemic, but the Oregon Department of Human Services will not be able to provide the emergency supplement after February.
The change comes after Congress recently passed a $1.7 trillion spending bill that doesn’t include continued funding.
To be clear, this doesn’t mean that SNAP benefits are coming to an end completely. Rather, the benefits will revert back to what they were before the pandemic. Starting in March, the benefits will go down by at least $95 each month for a single-person household, and will decrease by $300 each month for a family of four.
Anne Hudson said she is on disability and has used SNAP benefits for the last 10 years. She said the change will drastically impact her quality of life.
“This very much concerns me — yes, across America, but Portland has some major issues,” Hudson said.
The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) is encouraging people to prepare for the change.
“We know that many rely on these additional emergency food benefits to get enough healthy food for themselves and their families,” said ODHS Director Fariborz Pakseresht in a news release. “As Oregon continues to be impacted by COVID-19, we know that without these emergency food benefits some in Oregon may experience hardship and hunger. We encourage them to contact our partners at 211, Oregon Food Bank and their local Community Action Agency for support during this difficult time.”