SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – The emergency funding for SNAP benefits officially ends on Tuesday, January 31.
Anyone who uses the SNAP program, don’t worry, because the entire program isn’t ending. The only thing ending is the emergency funds that started in March of 2020.
The Department of Social Services said the emergency allotments were only temporary.
This program brought all authorized households up to the maximum benefit amount.
“The extra amount that we were getting really helped out, a lot,” said Victoria Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald is a single mother, with a 3-year-old and a 3-month-old.
“It’s very unfortunate that it’s coming to an end, because it’s not going to just affect my family. I know it’s going to affect all of our families,” said Fitzgerald.
According to DSS, by the end of 2022, more than 18,000 families in Spartanburg County used the SNAP program.
DSS said SNAP isn’t meant to replace a monthly food budget, but to add to it.
Fitzgerald said even with the emergency funds added on to the benefits, she can’t afford everything she needs.
“I sacrifice everything. I sacrifice materialistic things,” she said. “I sacrifice anything for myself just to make sure that my kids have what they need.”
Even if her sacrificing means limiting the food she buys for herself.
“Just living off of ramen noodles or peanut butter and jelly, that’s just what I do. Or, if it comes down to it, sometimes I go days without eating,” said Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald said she mainly uses the SNAP funds for meat, eggs and baby formula.
“There has been plenty of times where I’d had to go get formula for him,” she stated.
Even without the emergency funds, Fitzgerald said she is thankful.
“It’s extremely helpful. I mean, I’m very grateful for any little bit that we do get,” said Fitzgerald.
DSS said the extra funds came from national pandemic funding, which officially ended earlier this year.
“I’m not sure exactly how much more we can sacrifice,” said Fitzgerald. “With the price of everything, mama’s just going to have to make a way.”
Starting February 1, all SNAP households will go back to receiving their monthly benefit amount.
DSS is encouraging everyone to go to their online portal and look up what your benefits will be. You can do that by clicking here.
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