NY SNAP benefits to soon return to pre-pandemic levels

(Ethan Stein)
Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 9:54 PM EST
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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) - If you use SNAP benefits in New York State, some changes are coming March of 2023.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service, the Consolidated Appropriations Act recently passed by congress will end emergency allotments after the February 2023 issuance.

As we wait for this to go into effect, the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse in Binghamton, or CHOW, is sure to feel some of the effects in the months to come.

“The timing of it is interesting and I understand that at a certain point they have to scale things back,” said Director of CHOW Les Aylesworth. “It’s just that now that inflation is so high, the timing is just difficult.”

The emergency allotments were a temporary tool to help low-income families navigate the pandemic times. Add inflation to the mix and Aylesworth said this complicates one’s food budget.

“If you’re talking two to three weeks left in a month and people have already exhausted their benefits, they’re really going to have to lean on the food banking system,” said Aylesworth.

If you use SNAP benefits, this means the benefits will return to pre-pandemic assistance.

The CHOW director didn’t predict this timing, in fact, he thought the decision would have happened earlier. He said the warehouse tries to be prepared for anything.

“Ever since supply chain issues and inflation, it has made getting food that much more difficult for every organization,” said Aylesworth. “We have been traveling farther more often to make sure that the food that gets in the building behind me is stocked and ready for folks.”

To help food be on the plate for our Southern Tier neighbors, here’s how you can assist places like CHOW.

“Food drives are always welcome for people to collect food at their school, their church, their business, their home and collect it for CHOW. We accept monetary donations,” said Aylesworth.

There’s a lot to unpack when it comes to this decision by congress. To review more specifics, visit this website.