SNAP Emergency Allotments Ending (EA) March 1, 2023
In March 2020, SNAP benefits (formerly known as food stamps) increased to help neighbors meet emergency needs during the pandemic. This was known as Emergency Allotments (EA) and has continued for nearly three years. As of March 1, 2023, EA will no longer be provided to SNAP households. All SNAP benefits will return to their regular, pre-COVID benefit amounts. These additional emergency benefits have been in effect since March 2020. The last SNAP emergency allotment will be issued to households in February.
What is the Impact to Neighbors in Need?
It is estimated that households will see an average decrease of about $82 per person per month once the SNAP EA ends. In New Jersey, the minimum monthly SNAP benefit is $95, meaning no SNAP household will receive less than $95 per month in benefit.
The New Jersey Department of Human Services has distributed more than $2 billion in additional SNAP benefits since March 2020. Many New Jerseyans greatly benefited from EA and were able to go grocery shopping with these extra dollars. With the cost of food and other necessities continuing to rise, this will have a devastating impact on families and seniors who struggle to put food on the table.
All SNAP households will receive a letter in the mail in February notifying them of these changes and their new benefit amount.
How Does This Impact our Network Partners?
CFBNJ anticipates that our partners across New Jersey will see an increased demand in food assistance starting in March. While EA has greatly benefitted our neighbors in need for nearly three years, we recognize that your serving numbers also rose tremendously during the same time period. At its peak, SNAP Emergency Allotment served 461,000 households. Many of those households will need to seek emergency food assistance as a result of this change.
What CFBNJ is doing to address this expected increase in numbers:
- Allocate 25% more food to government-qualified partners.
- We will receive additional produce from the USDA in February and March and will use partner feedback to evaluate the need to procure more.
- Provide gift cards directly to neighbors in vulnerable populations (i.e., seniors, college students and children).
What Can You Do?
- Spread the word about this important change so households participating in SNAP can plan for this adjustment in benefits. This will help you plan for the increase in need at your food distributions.
- These printable flyers explain the benefit change in 21 languages. Please print this flyer and distribute to your community through April 2023.
- For more information on these benefits changes, visit njsnap.gov.