Over 40,000 households in Montgomery County to lose SNAP boost in March, local nonprofits step up to help
Since 2020, over 40,000 households in Montgomery County have enrolled in SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) and are receiving an average of $90 more per person, per month. However, this temporary boost to SNAP benefits will end in March.
The temporary boost to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program was approved by the federal government in early 2020 to minimize food insecurity during shutdowns and social distancing.
Recently, the federal government approved the Consolidated Appropriations Act — an omnibus budget package. Although the bill didn’t include money for SNAP emergency allotments.
Lee Lauren Truesdale, the chief development officer at the Dayton Foodbank, said it’s likely they’ll see more clients after the temporary boost ends.
“Having that increase for such a long period of time, what happens is people are used to that. And they've been budgeting for those dollars now for two going on three years. So we know this is going to desperately impact a lot of individuals,” Truesdale said.
Local agencies like the Dayton Foodbank and the Dayton Metro Library are encouraging families and seniors to seek help at the library. Since October of last year, 10 Dayton metro libraries have opened food pantries at their locations.
Allison Knight, with the Dayton Library, said anyone who needs resources or food is encouraged to come to the library for help.
“As a as a pantry partner under the food banks umbrella, we do have a list of all the pantries that we can sort by zip code so we can find another pantry that is open the right hours that works with their schedule that's conveniently located that they can get to to get some additional assistance.” Knight said.
There’s no limit to how many times someone can use the pantry at any of the libraries, according to Knight.
The Foodbank also recently hired a SNAP outreach specialist to help clients with enrollment into the program or to help answer general questions about it.
Truesdale said there’s no shortage of food at the food bank. She suggests families who will lose their extra monthly payments to their remaining SNAP benefits for basics like meats or milk, or eggs and use the pantry to supplement their grocery list.
“Use your funds maybe to buy canned goods or to buy meat products,” Truesdale said. “And then come see us or a partner agency to get your produce or to get your bakery products.”
There's also several partner agencies serving hot meals or food boxes across Greene, Montgomery and Preble Counties.
The omnibus bill passed by Congress increases social security benefits. It also creates funding for a permanent summer EBT food program for some school kids who are out of school in the summer and might be eligible for food assistance in the summer.
Alejandro Figueroa is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Support for WYSO's reporting on food and food insecurity in the Miami Valley comes from the CareSource Foundation.