Emergency SNAP benefits to end in February
For two years millions of New York State residents have received extra assistance through SNAP, the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The extra benefit - at least $95 a month - will come to end in February even as low-income families struggle with the exorbitant cost of groceries.
The additional SNAP benefits were never supposed to be long-term. They were offered by Congress as a way to support families during the pandemic, but the timing to end the extra aid couldn't be worse. Food costs are expected to continue to increase in 2023.
"We're certain to see more people at Helping Harvest due to the unfortunate timing of the end of the pandemic SNAP benefits," said Rebecca Flach, executive director of Hope Full Life Center, the charity that runs Helping Harvest, a low-cost grocery store program for struggling families. "This will put enormous pressure on people who are already paying more for food, housing, heat and gasoline."
Helping Harvest will continue to be there to assist our families with affordable groceries so they aren't forced to chose between food and medicine or other necessities. Our low-cost model saves people roughly 50% on their grocery bills - even when stacked against major discount chains. The savings has caused a spike in use of the little store down the mall hallway in Faith Plaza in Ravena. Flach and her team expect that trend to continue.
"Even more people will need Helping Harvest's services come March 1," said Flach. "We're proud to serve the community and families in need, but this change will put added strain on our charity to keep our shelves full."
Any family struggling to have enough food for their household are welcome to use Helping Harvest. Stop by during business hours. There is no cost to become a program member. We are open Mon, Tues, Thurs and Sat from 10-2 and Wed and Fri 2-6.
Help us fight off hunger and food insecurity in Ravena Coeymans Selkirk and neighboring communities by making a tax-deductible donation. Learn more.