In April 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), commonly known as the stimulus package, raised SNAP/food stamp benefits to help people affected by the recession. The increased benefits provided by this law expired on November 1, 2013.
Because of this change SNAP/food stamp recipients can expect two changes in their benefit amounts during the fall of 2013. First, benefits may have increased slightly for households on October 1 due to a cost of living adjustment that happens every year at this time. However, on November 1 all families will see their benefits decrease due to the end of the extra benefits provided by ARRA.
These changes affect all SNAP/food stamp recipients, but the actual change to benefits will vary from household to household. For example, a family of two could see their monthly benefits decrease by as much as $20 and a family of four by as much as $36.
In our region, many are seeing cuts in their benefits:
- District of Columbia—144,000 individuals or 22% of the population
- Maryland—774,000 or 13% of the population
- Virginia—941,000 or 11% of the population
Cuts will affect those served by the Capital Area Food Bank, but the extent of the increase will not be known until after the cuts have taken place. In the meantime, we are making every effort to meet the anticipated need throughout the Washington metro area.
For more information on these changes as well as resources to help a family eat healthy on a budget, please visit http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap-arra-2013. Community members in need of food are also encouraged to call the Hunger Lifeline at (202) 644-9807 or log onto the CAFB website www.capitalareafoodbank.org and click on “Get Help” at the top of the home page.