BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Extra SNAP benefits put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic will go back to the regular benefit amount starting in March.

According to the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, the extra benefits will end after the Consolidated Appropriations Act was passed in December. SNAP recipients in Louisiana households were warned that some would see a decrease in benefits after a federal cost of living adjustment to Social Security and veterans benefits.

“While Emergency Allotments are ending, households may be eligible for additional benefits if they have experienced an increase in size, a decrease in income, or an increase in costs associated with shelter, child care, or court-ordered child support,” officials said.

In Louisiana, the Department of Children and Family Services said an executive order signed by Gov. John Bel Edwards allowed the extra benefits to continue despite the state’s public health emergency order ending in March 2022.

“Emergency allotments were always going to be temporary. We requested approval to issue the supplements each month and messaged our SNAP households when the USDA approved them. Still, we know this news will be unsettling to recipients who have counted on the additional food assistance for the past three years, especially as they struggled with the health and economic crisis brought on by the pandemic. We encourage the public to support food banks, nonprofits such as the United Way, faith-based partners and others who will no doubt be stepping up to fill the gap created by the loss of the additional assistance. We will be working with these partners over the next several weeks to support them in this effort.”

DCFS Assistant Secretary of Family Support Shavana Howard

A total of $2 billion in extra temporary benefits were issued by DCFS from the pandemic’s start in March 2020 to December 2022. An average of $59.5 million each month went to 418,084 households per month, according to DCFS.

For more information about temporary extra SNAP benefits ending, click here.

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