The high inflation rates and reduced government SNAP aids have resulted in a surge in demand for food banks across the United States. According to a recent report, the food pantry at the Boston Red Cross experienced the highest monthly traffic in its 41-year history in April, a reflection of this growing trend. This phenomenon is not unique to Boston, as food banks across the country are witnessing a surge in demand.
Beneficiaries of the SNAP benefits, AKA food stamps, are struggling with the expiration of pandemic-era SNAP benefits and high food prices. “It’s a hunger cliff: inflation and the end of these emergency allocations,” said David Andre, who runs the Boston food bank, to Bloomberg. “People are really collapsing.”
This is how the SNAP benefits cuts could impact your household budget
The report, citing census data, reveals that there are currently significantly more Americans going hungry than during the peak of COVID-19 aid. Almost 24.6 million Americans didn’t have enough to eat in early last month, compared to 16.7 million in April 2021. Meanwhile, food prices continue to rise, with companies such as Nestlé and Unilever hiking prices in recent months.
The improvements to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) approved by Congress during the pandemic came to an end for beneficiaries in most states at the end of March. This change reduces the average SNAP user’s budget by about $90, and that hits hard their purchasing power. It is heartbreaking to see so many people struggling to put food on the table, especially during these difficult times. But there are still options to manage.
How to complement your SNAP benefits with the help of walk-in food banks
Walk-in food distribution centers are community-based organizations that offer free food to individuals and families facing food insecurity. These centers typically distribute a variety of foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, canned goods, and non-perishable items. They also often provide hygiene products, diapers, and other essential items that many families cannot afford.
Sadly, the walk-in food distribution program has gained popularity in recent years as a result of the pandemic and the resulting economic downturn. Many Americans have lost their jobs or seen their incomes decrease, making it difficult to afford basic necessities like food. walk-in food distribution centers have become a vital resource for these families, providing them with the support they need to make it through these challenging times.
These centers are located in neighborhoods and communities across the country, making it easy for individuals and families to access the support they need. Feeding America has a local food bank locator in its website that you can check right now. You just have to type your zip code or state, and that will give you the address and phone of your nearest food bank.