WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Extra pandemic-era SNAP benefits are coming to an end, and the last payments will be going out on Thursday.
Families that relied on these funds will receive their final, additional payment on March 2nd and then regular benefits will resume. About 630,000 homes in the state have been relying on these emergency allotments since they began.
22News stopped by Lorraine’s Kitchen in Chicopee to see how this change might impact demand at local food pantries.
“We’ve already seen an increase of people coming into pantries, I can only imagine with the benefits ending that we’re going to see an even bigger increase coming in. We’re seeing anywhere from 40, 50 individual families coming in each day, so that could equal out to anywhere between 200-250 individuals depending on their family size,” said Kim Caisse, Executive Director at Lorraine’s Kitchen.
Staff and volunteers at Lorraine’s worry families they serve will struggle to stay afloat.
“We see it everyday in people because maybe somebody lost their job, or has children and they need extra food,” said volunteer Mark Urban.
The SNAP Emergency Allotments began back in March 2020, which allowed families to receive the maximum SNAP benefit amount for their household. To help families plan for the end of these benefits, the state has created a webpage to explore other resources that may increase their SNAP benefits.
Some of the options include:
- If a SNAP household has medical costs over $35 a month for anyone over the age of 60 or has a disability.
- If the cost of housing has increased.
- If a person is working, looking for work, or in school, tell DTA about any child or disabled adult care costs.
- Massachusetts households that receive SNAP benefits can look into the Healthy Incentives Program to put money back on EBT cards.