Because emergency SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits are slated to expire next month, Indiana food banks are prepared for an uptick in demand.
During the coronavirus epidemic, the federal government enabled the state to offer “emergency allotments” to SNAP-eligible families in March 2020. According to the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, many Hoosier families received more benefits than otherwise.
The benefits are slated to expire in May due to the end of Indiana’s public health emergency on March 3 and a recent change in state law.
While food banks have been busy throughout the pandemic, some Indiana organizations claim that the need is more than ever and may continue to rise, citing rising gas and food prices as additional burdens for families.
“The hardest hit appear to be right here in the main Indianapolis region, but we also have some deeply ingrained poverty in the outlying counties,” said Midwest Food Bank executive director John Whitaker to Fox59 News.
Some organizations have also reported an increase in people seeking information about food stamps, including those who have never received them.
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“Some individuals attempt to make it, but it takes one incident to push them to the point where they need to rely on SNAP,” Whitaker said. “With the way, it’s being pulled back now, we’re going to have to step up our efforts.”
According to official figures, more than 600,000 Hoosiers have received SNAP assistance.
In June, a household’s SNAP benefits will be determined by several factors, including income, household size, and allowed dedications.