SNAP Benefits Ending

The Lempert Report
February 21, 2023

The emergency SNAP benefits are expiring because the pandemic is over, even though, in my opinion, it's not quite over yet. So, here's the basis. Basically, you've gotta make $17,424 a year or less to get SNAP benefits for one person that equates to $234 a month, two people $430 a month. But now what's gonna happen, because these benefits, because of the pandemic, are expiring, a lot of people are gonna go hungry. Tell us more about that. 

Sally: Yeah, so Phil, this extended program to the SNAP program, started during covid to help people. And now, 32 states are preparing to phase out this emergency food stamp plan. I believe 18 states have already done this, but this is gonna leave about 30 million Americans that are on food stamps, right now. At the end of the month they're going to be affected dramatically like this. The average that individuals are gonna lose is about $82 a month in benefits. And this coupled with what we're seeing at the supermarkets as far as pricing, particularly on, much needed products, staple products like eggs and dairy, this is really going to affect a lot of people in a negative way, I believe.

Phil: It is. And when we talk about SNAP, you know, I mean, a lot of people that are young and for whatever reason they might be out of work. But also there's a lot of people, a lot of senior citizens, who are on SNAP that are trying to make it through their social security, through SNAP, through Medicare, Medicaid and so on. And this is really gonna take a big bite out of that. In fact, what we find are recipients that are now getting $281 a month, that's gonna go back to $23. That's what they were getting before the pandemic. You go from $281 to $23, millions of Americans are gonna have some severe problems. And the question is for supermarkets that now, and it depends on the supermarket where they're located, they've got 20 to 30% of their volume coming from SNAP recipients. 

Phil: What happens to the supermarket once you start taking away that money? And we've seen, you know, sales, obviously during the pandemic increase in most supermarkets, you're gonna see a trickle effect of not only are these people gonna get hungry, they're not gonna be able to buy food, but the supermarkets are going to lose a huge influx of capital as a result of it. So it's something that, you know, I wish and nobody asked our opinion, but I wish that they would've phased it out gradually versus just the end of March. I think it's gonna hurt a lot of people.