CHARLOTTE — A lot of families are about to lose almost $100 for food every month.
During the pandemic, Congress authorized an extra $95 per month for all households using SNAP, what used to be called food stamps.
South Carolina stopped the extra $95 at the end of January. In North Carolina, the additional benefit ends on March 1.
Congress intended the extra money to help low-income families during the pandemic. Now, the pandemic may not be an issue anymore, but inflation is.
For example, according to federal labor statistics, a dozen eggs cost $1.83 in January 2022 and $4.82 this January, 250% more.
After February, families will go back to their usual SNAP amounts. Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke checked and the government will still adjust those figures for cost of living each October.
Mary Barr says she’s taking classes to do medical coding. Until then, it’s been hard financially. She’s been relying on the extra $95 every month. “You just have to learn to live with those circumstances and you make the best choices,” she told Stoogenke. “It gets tough, but you know what? You just shake it off. Dust it off and keep going. That’s what I do, and that’s what I teach my children.”
Carol Hardison with Crisis Assistance Ministry expects more families will have to shift money to cover food now and that will mean problems paying for other things.
“It’s already difficult to choose between medicine and food and rent and utilities every day for people who are low-income. This is just an added burden,” Hardison said.
If you need help affording food:
- WIC: If you have a child younger than 5 and/or you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you may be eligible for WIC. Learn more about WIC and complete a WIC referral online.
- 211: Visit nc211.org or dial 211 to be connected to community food resources.
- Click here for more food resources in North Carolina.
- Click here for a list of Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina’s partner agency network.
(VIDEO: Food pantry anticipates higher need after decrease in food stamp payments)
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