HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Acting Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Secretary Val Arkoosh advised Pennsylvania residents of upcoming changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits
Starting in March, SNAP recipient households will no longer receive the Emergency Allotment (EA) addition payment created during the COVID-19 health emergency and will resume receiving one SNAP payment at a time.
This is due to the passage of the recent federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023.
“We know this additional SNAP payment has been a lifeline for people over the past three years and that ongoing economic uncertainty and high food prices are contributing to food insecurity for many Pennsylvanians. There is help available for you and your family through Pennsylvania’s heroic charitable food partners,” said Acting Secretary Val Arkoosh. “I urge anyone who can donate food or resources, now is the time to help your local food assistance programs as they prepare to meet this potential additional need.”
This change will occur for all SNAP recipients, with households receiving letters in the mail regarding the changes in SNAP payments.
In 2019, funds were made available due to the federal COVID-19 emergency, the DHS began providing EAs as a second monthly payment to SNAP recipient households that were receiving benefits since March 2020.
Due to federal legislation, this February will be the final month in which EAs will be sent.
The department states that it recognizes the impact these changes may have on households and wants to make sure families that need food assistance know where to go for help:
- SNAP recipients who are pregnant or have kids under 5 may be able to get help buying food from PA WIC. You can call 1-800-WIC-WINS or apply online at www.pawic.com;
- You can call 211 or visit www.pa211.org to connect with various local food resources;
- Visit www.feedingpa.org to find local food banks and other food assistance programs;
Pennsylvanians who need to report changes to their household size, income, or expenses are encouraged to report any changes either online at www.dhs.pa.gov/COMPASS, via the myCOMPASS PA mobile app, or by calling DHS’s Customer Service Center at 877-395-8930 (or 215-560-7226 for Philadelphia residents).
“Our charitable food network works tirelessly every day to be a resource and safety net for their communities. With a reduction in SNAP benefits coming, they will likely be left to absorb much of the impact,” said Acting Secretary Arkoosh. “If you are able to help, I strongly encourage you to support your local food banks and pantries as they prepare to meet this need. Small donations can grow into a big difference, so please do what you can so they can continue their life-saving work.”