Emergency food benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which were started nearly three years ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic, are coming to an end.
The Oregon Department of Human Services said Tuesday that February will be the final month for the extra emergency food benefit. They were given to most people in Oregon who already receive food benefits through SNAP. The 2023 federal spending bill ended funding for the emergency allotments.
March 2023 will be the first month since April 2020 that most people on SNAP in Oregon will only receive their regular SNAP food benefits.
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic we have had the opportunity to provide these emergency food benefits to most SNAP households in Oregon,” said ODHS Director Fariborz Pakseresht said in a statement “We know that many rely on these additional emergency food benefits to get enough healthy food for themselves and their families. As Oregon continues to be impacted by COVID-19, we know that without these emergency food benefits some in Oregon may experience hardship and hunger. We encourage them to contact our partners at 211, Oregon Food Bank and their local Community Action Agency for support during this difficult time.”
ODHS reminds SNAP beneficiaries that the program has made some permanent changes in the past three years.
“On October 1, 2021, regular SNAP food benefits were permanently increased by an average of about $36 per person, per month. In January 2022, Oregon increased the income eligibility limit for SNAP up to 200% of the federal poverty level. This means that an individual with up to $2,265 in income per month, or a family of three with up to $3,838 in income per month, are eligible to receive SNAP food benefits,” ODHS said.
Questions about your SNAP benefits can also be directed to the ONE Customer Service Center at 1-800-699-9075. The ONE Customer Service Center is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific Time.