Food Banks Can’t Make Up for SNAP Hunger Cliff

Part of being thought leaders in our community is sharing important information from different local and national channels. The following article is from “The Hill.”

Full grocery cart at store

SNAP cuts could lead to ‘hunger cliff,’ experts fear

“A pandemic-related boost in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will be cut in every state on March 1, meaning millions of Americans are faced with figuring out new ways to put food on the table.

For Natalie Sharp, a 35-year-old part-time Pilates instructor, and her partner, that means stocking up on nonperishable food items like dry beans, pasta and canned tomatoes as well as visiting food pantries near their home in Pittsfield, Mass.

‘We have access to local food pantries and aren’t afraid or ashamed to use them — but getting over the hump of us both being largely unemployed during COVID will be tougher without the extra $95,’ Sharp said.

While a slashed food budget will be a burden for Sharp, out of the country’s 42 million SNAP recipients, she considers herself to be one of the lucky ones. She is partnered, has stable housing and has no children to support.

Navigating a post-COVID America on pre-COVID-level SNAP benefits might be more of a struggle for others, like the elderly and the chronically ill. Especially now that inflation has caused food prices to balloon by nearly 10 percent since last year, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Anti-hunger advocates fear the newly reduced SNAP benefits will drive millions of people to a ‘hunger cliff’ and deeper into poverty as they search for ways to pay for food.

The cut in SNAP funds will also have harsh economic consequences…”