Opinion: Urge legislators to continue added SNAP benefits
To the editor:
On March 2, 2023, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients received their last extra Covid SNAP payment.
Since April 2020, SNAP recipients have received extra payments at the start of each month totaling at least $95 to assist with the cost of food through the state of emergency. Due to action by the federal government, the abrupt end to these additional payments will leave many recipients already struggling to get by even worse off.
From a social work perspective, access to food is a critical tool in disrupting poverty, and SNAP is a vital resource to ensure people have access to food in a way that is dignified and meets their dietary needs. The sudden halt to these benefits will be unsustainable for many, especially with the ever-growing cost of groceries.
The Healy-Driscoll administration recently filed a $282 million supplemental budget. This supplemental budget aims to address urgent needs pertaining to housing and food security.
The bill proposes $130 million to create an off-ramp for SNAP recipients by providing a supplemental SNAP allotment for three months equal to 40% of what participants received from the previous federal benefits.
This would allow recipients to gradually taper off the additional funding in a way that is more sustainable than the proposed abrupt end. I urge you to contact your local legislators and encourage them to pass the H47 Supplemental Budget Bill.
Madeline Butters, Middleboro
Masters in Social Work student, Bridgewater State University