SNAP Pandemic-Related Benefits End Thursday


HYANNIS – Food pantries across the region are bracing for an uptick in users as a pandemic-era expansions to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program ends this week. 

The last extra COVID SNAP payments will go out Thursday, March 2, according to state officials.

Family Pantry of Cape Cod Executive Director Christine Menard said that federal assistance that boosted participants to the highest-need tier provided by the state, and without it they can expect smaller payments going forward, depending on their need.

After 3 years of expanded money for groceries, Menard said it’ll be a big change for many families.

“It’s getting a pay increase in your salary and then all of a sudden it goes away. We think it’s going to be a big bump. We think everyone is going to feel it, it’s just a question of how much are you going to feel it,” said Menard. 

“It’s the last of the COVID benefits and it was very impactful for families.”

Menard said that her organization and other food pantries across the region are expecting a 15 to 20 percent increase in users in the coming months in response on top of a 70 percent busier winter at large.

AARP says that the change would impact older populations significantly, as nearly 9.5 million adults over the age of 50 are food insecure. 

Menard said that the Family Pantry is also facing a need for volunteers amid a busy season.

Over 20 volunteer openings are available. Those interested can learn more on their website.

More on Massachusetts SNAP program can be found on the state website here.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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