These 21 States Will Extend Emergency Food Benefit Payments Through November

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  • 21 states will continue to pay emergency SNAP benefits in November 2022.
  • The extra emergency allotment comes to at least $95 per household, depending on your situation.
  • If you can't put food on the table, look for your nearest food pantry or soup kitchen.

Many states are still giving additional SNAP benefits to help families keep food on the table.

The last few years have been tough for many Americans. First came the pandemic with its lockdowns, childcare challenges, and health issues. Then inflation began to push up the cost of living, straining household budgets even further. Many people have already had to dip into their savings to make ends meet and low-income families have been hardest hit.

SNAP food benefits have helped a lot of homes keep food on the table. October saw a 12.5% annual increase in benefits to keep up with spiraling grocery prices, which goes some way to help. However, households also need to cover higher rent, utility bills, and other essentials -- and wages aren't keeping pace.

Emergency SNAP food benefits

Some states have continued to pay out extra SNAP emergency allotments, an additional payment that started during the pandemic. The extra payment in these states is $95 or the difference between the original benefit and the maximum household benefit, whichever is greater. This means that households will get at least $95 extra each month while the emergency provisions are in place.

These states will continue SNAP emergency allotments in November 2022:

  • Alabama
  • California
  • Colorado
  • District of Columbia
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Utah
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

If you don't live in one of these states, contact your local food benefits office to find out what benefits you are entitled to, and what other help is available. Even if you can't claim the extra allotments, you may be eligible for SNAP benefits, whatever part of the country you are in. SNAP benefits are usually credited to an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card that users can use in authorized stores. 

Emergency food help is available

If you're struggling to pay your grocery bill, there are several steps you can take. Look out for double-up schemes, which will help make your SNAP dollars go further. Participating farmers markets and stores will match what you spend on fruits and vegetables, making it a bit easier to buy healthy produce for your family. 

Coupons and cash back apps can also work alongside SNAP and help you stretch your food budget a little. When you're in the grocery store, try to buy more expensive items when they're on discount or clearance, as long as you're able to eat them before the food goes to waste.  There are also food waste apps that help you buy food at a discount that would otherwise be thrown away, but these don't necessarily work with SNAP EBT cards.

The way you cook also has a big impact on your food costs. If you're not confident in the kitchen, look online for easy recipes that use basic ingredients. Batch cooking stews and pasta sauces can save you both money and time -- as long as there's freezer space to store them. Bulk out meals using cheaper ingredients such as potatoes, oats, rice, and beans. 

Food pantries and soup kitchens exist to stop people going hungry. Unlike SNAP, you don't have to provide any income documentation to use a food pantry, as most work on self-attested needs. Each organization is different, so it might be worth checking any requirements before you go. Some food pantries also provide other goods such as back-to-school supplies or personal care items.

You may also qualify for other government programs such as emergency rental assistance. Unfortunately, a lot of the extra pandemic funding has now expired, but it is still worth finding out what support exists in your state. Contact United Way on 211 to speak to a local expert any time of the day. The toll-free number can connect you with a range of organizations and NGOs that specialize in food, housing, and other areas. 

Bottom line

The worst of the pandemic may be behind us, but significant challenges remain. There's a strong possibility we'll see a recession in 2023 which could lead to widespread job losses and further food insecurity. If you're having trouble putting food on the table or paying your bills, don't be afraid to find out what help you're entitled to.

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