A bag of groceries laying down on a white background.

At the end of December, congress passed a spending bill ending these additional benefits. The last Emergency Allotment mid-month payment will be distributed in mid-March. Starting in April, households will receive the benefit amount they were originally approved for (this is the first of the month payment), and no Emergency Allotment (i.e. no mid-month payment). To confirm what their approved monthly benefit value is, households can refer to their approval letter, check bank statements (for folks on direct deposit), or use the EBTedge app (for folks with an EBT card).

The goal of Emergency Allotments was to support people through a really challenging time. Many challenges may have originated at the height of the pandemic, but hunger and food insecurity rates are at some of the highest rates right now – even more people identify as food insecure right now than at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021 – a scary and concerning issue for many. According to a University of Vermont study, 2 in 5 people in Vermont have experienced food insecurity in the past year, a 10% increase compared to the year before.

The Vermont Foodbank and our network of 320 state-wide partners will be a reliable resource for people who are most impacted by the end of SNAP Emergency Allotments, but this change will create a gap of more than $6 million in food benefits in Vermont each month. Even with our strong and dedicated network, there is nothing the Foodbank can do to fill that gap.

The end of Emergency Allotments is happening at a time when food and fuel prices are increasing to record highs, with people reporting that a dozen eggs costs them eight dollars! Many Vermont households—including older adults, people living on disability benefits, and single parent families—are often living on a fixed income or have limited ability to work. They do not have the financial flexibility to respond to inflated food prices. This experience has an emotional impact on many Vermont neighbors.

One individual who suffered a medical emergency last year and had to stop working told the Foodbank that when he got out of the hospital, money was so tight there were days that he did not eat. After he pays his bills, there’s not much left. His Emergency Allotment ($281/month) has helped him afford food to be able to eat every day. This SNAP recipient is approved for $23/month, so come April he will be short $258/month to buy food.

Another Vermont resident, also only approved for $23/month, shared that the Emergency Allotment has allowed her to eat decent dinner-time meals. When the allotment ends, she said she will have to go back to eating very cheap and easy foods—before she applied for 3SquaresVT she was living on instant oatmeal. She is worried she will lose weight again, and that she will not be able to purchase meat and other protein items and her health will suffer.

We are facing these changes together. Here are some things that you can do:

  • Learn more by listening to a Vermont Edition broadcast and Vermont Public story about the changes.
  • Contact our 3SquaresVT team at the Foodbank or click this link and read the PDF to help you maximize your approved benefit value. Call us at 855-855-6181, text VFBSNAP to 85511, or email 3svt@vtfoodbank.org.
  • Share your story with the Foodbank, we want to know how a reduction in SNAP benefits is changing your life.
  • Advocate! The US Farm Bill is up for re-authorization which only happens every 4-5 years and SNAP/3SVT policies, like the dollar amount of monthly household benefits, are governed by congress and the Farm Bill. Visit our Advocacy webpage to sign up for alerts on ways to take action!
  • Support the Foodbank (donate or volunteer), our network of community partners will be Vermont’s first line of defense to lessen the impacts of this reduction in benefits.