Pandemic SNAP benefits end, low-income recipients face high inflation

The 3.4 million Texans who receive food assistance known as SNAP benefits are about to get an average of $211 less a month. That's because the extra pandemic SNAP benefits ended on March 1.

Non-profits say this will leave many families to make hard choices or go hungry.

Angela Jordy, a mother of two, says her SNAP benefits are about to drop.

"It’s going to have a very large impact on our family, especially because they're taking the extra benefits away at peak prices," said Jordy.

She says they're losing more than $200 in benefits a month.

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"We’ve already felt the impact by having to put groceries back when we check out," she said.

Father of two Willie Williams is losing the extra benefits, too.

"They’re important because the prices for food and stuff is high. You give us this money, then you take it back," said Williams.

After three years, SNAP families are losing the extra pandemic $95 to more than $400 a month, depending on the family size.

"With that emergency allotment ending, families are going to have a challenge with being able to purchase food now," said Jolene Norbert-Harrell with the Houston Food Bank.

A recent survey by No Kid Hungry found high inflation is already causing 73% of Texas households to have a harder time affording groceries compared to January 2022. 40% have experienced some food insecurity over the past twelve months.

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"They’re worried their household will not have enough to eat, or perhaps as parents skip meals so that their kids could eat," said Mia Medina with No Kid Hungry Texas.

It's not just low-income families that are impacted, but many low-income senior citizens and college students as well.  

Now, non-profits are working to expand their services.

"Preparing for more people, we’re looking at what is the max number each pantry can serve. Do we need to open up additional days," said Sandra Wicoff with Target Hunger.

"The last couple of months, I’ve barely skated through with less than $10 in cash flow. So when the food stamp allotments go down, we’re just going to have to kind of be a little bit more thrifty," said Jordy.

The Houston Food Bank and Target Hunger are both looking for donations and volunteers as the need increases.

SNAP benefits are based on income and family size, so recipients are recommended to ensure their information is updated on


Those needing help can also call 211, the United Way Helpline, for resources, as well as the Houston Food Bank to find local food pantries.

The Food Bank is working to contact its recipients about available resources.

"We're also working to communicate and make sure they’re sharing where other food pantries are in Houston, so they can use that to supplement their households.  We are making sure families know about other resources in Houston, whether that’s the WIC program or other food sources they can utilize to make ends meet," said Harrell.

Recipients can also take advantage of Double Up Food Bucks, which match SNAP benefits dollar-for-dollar at some locations.

And the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer will continue so that Texas children who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals can continue to receive them in the summer.