SNAP benefits set to increase starting October

National News

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — For years now, families across the nation have been helped by a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP benefits.

SNAP is an especially helpful program during a time when some people aren’t sure where their next meal might come from.

“SNAP is a direct program where money gets put on an EBT card and people can go right to a grocery store and see that,” Food Bank of Siouxland Director Jacob Wanderscheid said.

But as the American Rescue Plan money runs thin, the 15% increase to pre-pandemic benefits comes to a close. Starting October 1, a few changes are going to be made.

“When SNAP benefits are increased, typically we see a little less activity at our food pantries and the network of food providers across the network,” Wanderscheid said.

A new boost is set to begin at the start of the month called the Thrifty Food Plan. With this plan, Siouxlander’s should find a slight increase in their benefits. The average increase is about $4, according to the USDA.

But Wanderscheid said with the switch in the program and high prices at the grocery store, he expects the Food Bank of Siouxland to stay busy.

“My assumption is that we’re going to see more families at our location or we’ll see more visits to the food pantry,” Wanderscheid said.

Wandersheid said the winter months are some of the busiest for most food banks, due to a variety of reasons, but with the pandemic, winter numbers have only gotten worse.

“There is some handwriting on the wall as unemployment. More people are getting to work, testing for covid, SNAP coming down,” Wandersheid said.

The Food Bank of Siouxland serves nearly 8,000 food-insecure children. With changes in federal funding and employment, Wandersheid says they could always use extra volunteers.

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