Beginning in March 2023, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will return to its pre-pandemic levels of benefits, ending the emergency allotments that have been in place since April 2020. In Oregon alone, this means that more than $1.9 billion in additional food assistance funds will be lost.
The federal SNAP program offers food-purchasing assistance to households with low incomes. During the pandemic, Congress decided to allocate additional funds so that all SNAP households would receive at least the maximum monthly benefit. This has allowed households to receive an additional $95 per month.
However, with the end of the emergency allotments, many households will now experience a reduction in their benefits. To help ease the transition, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has announced that SNAP recipients in certain counties will be able to apply for replacement benefits for food lost or destroyed during the recent winter storm and power outages.
Those in Anderson, Austin, Bandera, Bastrop, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Brazoria, Brooks, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Cameron, Cherokee, Coke, Collin, Comal, Concho, Coryell, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Erath, Falls, Fannin, Fort Bend, Franklin, Freestone, Gillespie, Harris, Hays, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hill, Hopkins, Hunt, Irion, Johnson, Kaufman, Kendall, Kerr, Kimble, Lamar, Lee, Leon, Limestone, Llano, Mason, McLennan, Milam, Montgomery, Navarro, Parker, Rains, Red River, Robertson, Rockwall, Smith, Sterling, Tarrant, Titus, Travis, Van Zandt, Waller, Wichita, Williamson, and Wood counties can request replacement benefits until February 28th.
Once HHSC receives the application, replacement benefits will be available on recipients’ Lone Star Cards within two business days. Forms can be faxed to 1-877-447-2839 or mailed to Texas Health and Human Services, P.O. Box 149027, Austin, TX 78714-9027.
Currently, more than 41 million Americans receive food-buying benefits through SNAP. But with the end of the SNAP emergency allotment, many households that have been getting by will no longer be able to do that.
0. “SNAP emergency allotments to end, and more” The River Reporter, 7 Feb. 2023, https://riverreporter.com/stories/snap-emergency-allotments-to-end-and-more,80707
1. “Food Stamps: What is the Highest Income Level for SNAP Payments in February?” AOL, 8 Feb. 2023, https://www.aol.com/finance/food-stamps-highest-income-level-230043684.html
2. “Millions of Americans are about to be forced to cut up to $258 a month out of their grocery budgets as emergency food stamps suddenly end in March” Business Insider Africa, 10 Feb. 2023, https://africa.businessinsider.com/news/millions-of-americans-are-about-to-be-forced-to-cut-up-to-dollar258-a-month-out-of/svxdgky
3. “HHSC announces replacement SNAP benefits due to winter storm” KXAN.com, 9 Feb. 2023, https://www.kxan.com/news/texas/hhsc-announces-replacement-snap-benefits-due-to-winter-storm/
4. “Federal approval for replacement SNAP benefits due to winter storm” KRIS 6 News Corpus Christi, 9 Feb. 2023, https://www.kristv.com/news/texas-news/federal-approval-for-replacement-snap-benefits-due-to-winter-storm
5. “Replacement SNAP benefits now available for recipients who lost food in winter storm” KVUE.com, 8 Feb. 2023, https://www.kvue.com/article/news/local/texas/replacement-snap-benefits-winter-storm/269-1cd6b2a4-6860-4c0c-97ee-6a8750efd364
6. “SNAP Emergency Allotments are Ending” USDA.gov, 8 Feb. 2023, https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2023/02/08/snap-emergency-allotments-are-ending