HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Pennsylvanians who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to buy food will soon see a decrease in their benefits.
The pandemic-era increase will expire on March 1, after being in place for nearly three years. Households in Pennsylvania, along with 32 other states, could lose up to $96 a month in benefits.
“Unfortunately, it’s coming at a time where food prices are still rather high. People are not finding themselves in much different situation,” Amy Hill, Spokesperson for the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank said.
Get the latest Pennsylvania politics and election news with abc27 newsletters!
The Central Pennsylvania Food bank is preparing for a surge in demand as a result of the incoming decrease.
“We’re able to look at some of the data where there are SNAP usages,” Hill said “Then, we can predict where there might be a higher increase.”
Hill said the Central PA Food Bank is also making sure local pantries and soup kitchens are stocked before March 1.
Over 16,000 volunteers serve across the 27 counties the Central PA Food Bank covers, according to Hill. For many, the job is personal.
“We’re in the United States, and to think that people are going hungry is just really shocking to me,” Brad Igou, who has been volunteering with the non-profit for over two years, said. “It doesn’t matter what your ethnicity is, what your religious beliefs are, what your politics are. It’s about people and what they need.”
The Central PA Food Bank distributes perishables and non-perishables to different locations across the Commonwealth. Anyone, regardless of whether they receive SNAP benefits, is welcome to utilize its services.
Stay up to date on the latest from abc27 News on-air and on the go with the free abc27 Mobile app.
“Our website has a tool where you can find food,” Hill said. “You can plug in your zip code and you can see where those those pantries are in your neighborhood.”
Anyone who doesn’t know where their next meal will come from is encouraged to call the food banks helpline at 1-877-999-5964. Help is also available 24/7 by calling 211.