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Emergency SC SNAP benefits set to end this weekend

Emergency allotments of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - or SNAP - are ending on...
Emergency allotments of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - or SNAP - are ending on Saturday, the Department of Social Services says.(Live 5/File)
Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 6:44 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 29, 2021 at 4:39 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Social Services says all emergency allotments of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - or SNAP - are ending on Saturday.

This means the pre-pandemic amounts go into effect on Sunday.

The SCDSS spokesperson Connelly-Anne Ragley says without an active state of emergency, the agency cannot request additional funds.

She wants to be clear that this does not mean SNAP benefits are ending, they are just returning to the pre-pandemic amounts. Ragley says your SNAP allotment will depend on factors like household size, income, and things like medical expenses.

“On average, the department sees that an average household in South Carolina will see their benefits decrease by this change by $177,” Ragley said.

Under the regular SNAP guidelines, a one-person household will receive $19 a month.

A four-person household will receive $230 a month. For perspective, during the emergency assistance period, a four-person household was eligible for a maximum of $782 per month.

“We know that families are still struggling across the board,” Ragley said. “And, we are trying to refer them to services in their area. Maybe a local food bank, a local church in their area that is helping, but we are trying to let folks know so that they can make responsible choices and plan ahead that these emergency supplements are ending.”

RESORCES:

Ragley says if you need extra assistance after the normal SNAP amount, they will refer people to local food banks, services, or churches.

Lowcountry Food Bank Chief Development Officer Brenda Shaw says they anticipate an increase in demand when emergency benefits end, and they plan to maintain their high rate of food distributions that they’ve had throughout the pandemic.

“So, we are definitely seeing the increased need for food assistance and I think especially as we head into the fall, a lot of seasonal workers are going to either have reduced hours or not have some of those seasonal jobs, so we’re anticipating an increase as we head in to the fall,” Shaw said.

Shaw says in 2019, their direct client distributions were at about 90. She says in 2021, they already have 157, and expect over 160 by the end of the year.

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