NORFOLK, Va. — Extended emergency SNAP benefits have been continued once again, for Virginians in need of food assistance.
Since 2020, states have been allowed to request emergency benefits for SNAP recipients through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which expands food assistance by allowing recipients to receive the maximum monetary amount they're eligible for.
The extended benefits were set to expire at the end of next week but have been extended once again starting April 16.
The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore said for an average household that amounts to roughly 100 extra dollars a month that families can use.
“For every one meal we can provide as a food bank, SNAP provides nine," said Leah Williams-Rumbley with the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore.
It’s a clearer decision to make in the middle of the pandemic, but one that’s less clear when COVID-19 cases are on the decline.
“If pandemic support runs out or the state of emergency is lifted, then extended benefits can be discontinued," Williams-Rumbley said.
In Iowa, the state ended its emergency benefits effective this month, meaning some shoppers there are now going to the store with less help.
The Virginia Department of Social Services said that these emergency continuations are decided on a month-to-month basis.
SNAP data shared by Williams-Rumbley shows that more than 850,000 Virginians.