INDIANAPOLIS — The government pandemic SNAP payments will expire in a few weeks, so food banks are prepared for a further surge in demand.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, families receiving food stamps have obtained the full benefit allowed for their family size.
According to the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, May will be the last month for families on SNAP to receive the higher benefit due to new state law.
Richard Gordon, senior resource manager for Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, stated, “I’m quite concerned.”
Gordon, who assists people in applying for SNAP benefits, has noticed an increase in the number of people asking for information about food stamps in recent months, including those who have never received them before.
“Many families are suffering challenges right now and just really having trouble making ends meet because of… the growing cost of petrol, food, whatever,” Gordon added.
In recent months, food banks have noticed an uptick in demand.
According to officials, gleaners delivered 10 million pounds of food to the pandemic’s food banks last month, more than any other time during the pandemic.
The Midwest Food Bank, whose food pantries have witnessed a 10% rise in demand in the last two months, has a similar narrative.
“The hardest hit appears to be right here in the Indianapolis area, but we also have some deeply ingrained poverty in the outlying counties,” said Midwest Food Bank executive director John Whitaker.
Based on household size, income, and permissible deductions, the amount each family’s monthly SNAP benefits will decrease in June will vary.
Meanwhile, according to Whitaker, the Midwest Food Bank is planning extra pop-up deliveries in anticipation of the increased demand.
“Some individuals attempt to make it, but it only takes one incidence to push them to the point where they have to rely on SNAP, and with the way it’s being pulled back now, we’ll have to step up our efforts,” he said.
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More than 619,000 Hoosiers receive SNAP assistance as of February.
More information on how the discontinuation of enhanced SNAP benefits may affect your family can be found here.