MANASSAS, Va. — The temporary boost to SNAP benefits put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic ended March 1. Nearly 30 million Americans received extra government help with grocery bills during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While for the average recipient, the change will mean about $90 less per month, for many, it could be much more, an analysis shows.
Benefits will return to usual levels, which are based largely on a household's income, size and certain expenses, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.
"Food insecurity is real, and with the snap benefits decreasing it's only going to increase in the coming weeks," said Stephanie Berkowitz, the President & CEO of Northern Virginia Family Service.
Berkowitz told WUSA9 that in the past two weeks, they've seen a 10-15% increase in need just in their Hunger Resource Center.
"We could see up to double that throughout the coming year," said Berkowitz.
Friday night WUSA9 also checked back in with the Capitol Area Food Bank. They shared that they plan to check in with their partners next week, and expect an update then.
They have an interactive map on their website to help you find the closest food bank or pantry to you.
Berkowitz told WUSA9 for some families, food insecurity can often lead to even bigger issues.
"Nothing operates in isolation. So, when one thing happens in our community like right now, you know food insecurity will be on the rise, it means it's going to have a domino effect on other areas of people's lives. Those decisions are already hard, which bills should I pay, where should I cut back on my food, should I cut my medications in half and they're about to get even harder for families," said Berkowitz.
To learn more about the Northern Virginia Family service, and get help or donate, click here.