Last SNAP emergency allotment benefits set for February 16 in Virginia

Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 5:46 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - This is the last month Virginia families enrolled in SNAP will receive extra emergency allotment benefits.

February 16 will be the last time SNAP beneficiaries get that extra money automatically.

”We’re finding that people are far, far more food-insecure than before,” said Rachel Theo-Maurelli, Plenty! Assistant Director.

That’s why Plenty!, a Farm and Food Bank in Floyd County, is preparing to serve more people after the SNAP Emergency Allotment benefits are taken away after this month.

“There are people that because of that pandemic assistance didn’t have to come. We haven’t seen them in a long time… and now I think that that’s going to have a giant impact and we’re going to be seeing lots more people,” said Theo-Maurelli.

“It was never intended to be permanent. It was always temporary, and it really was to get through those crucial times during the initial stages of the pandemic. Clients were given a cost-of-living increase in October 2022… in some cases the increase that they are receiving through the cost-of-living increase is going to really impact what any decrease maybe,” said Diana Limbacher, Deputy Regional Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service, USDA, Mid-Atlantic Region.

If you are concerned with your benefits, Limbacher says call your local SNAP office and they will give you the information you need. In Virginia, call 2-1-1 if you need help.

“Food and energy prices are rising dramatically. We’re also finding that people are more cost burdened in their housing than ever before. So, this is a pinch that’s happening to lots and lots of people,” said Theo-Maurelli.

There are other resources including the National School Lunch Program and WIC for Women, Infants and Children. For more information click here and for resources click here.