Are They Still Giving Out Extra Food Stamps

Food stamps, officially known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), are a form of government assistance that helps low-income individuals and families purchase food. Due to the economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many families are experiencing financial difficulties, leading to increased demand for food assistance. In response, the government provided emergency allotments of food stamps to help families during this time. While the emergency allotments have been helpful, some people are wondering whether they are still being provided. The answer to this question depends on the specific state or region, as the availability of extra food stamps can vary. It’s important to check with local government agencies or community organizations to get the most up-to-date information on the availability of emergency food stamp allotments in a particular area.

SNAP Extra Allotments

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government provided additional SNAP benefits, known as emergency allotments, to eligible households.

The extra benefits were a temporary measure and ended in February 2023. Regular SNAP benefits are still available to eligible households, but the amount of benefits is based on household size, income, and expenses.

History of Extra Food Stamp Issuance

  • March 2020: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was passed, authorizing the USDA to provide additional SNAP benefits to eligible households.
  • April 2020: The USDA began issuing emergency allotments to SNAP households.
  • September 2020: The USDA announced that emergency allotments would be extended through June 2021.
  • December 2020: The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 was passed, extending emergency allotments through September 2021.
  • August 2021: The USDA announced that emergency allotments would be extended through November 2021.
  • December 2021: The Continuing Appropriations Act, 2022 was passed, extending emergency allotments through January 2022.
  • February 2022: The USDA announced that emergency allotments would be extended through April 2022.
  • March 2022: The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 was passed, extending emergency allotments through May 2022.
  • May 2022: The USDA announced that emergency allotments would be extended through September 2022.
  • September 2022: The USDA announced that emergency allotments would be extended through November 2022.
  • November 2022: The USDA announced that emergency allotments would be extended through January 2023.
  • January 2023: The USDA announced that emergency allotments would end in February 2023.

States That Provided Extra Food Stamps

StateExtra SNAP Benefits
Alabama$95 per person, per month
Alaska$194 per person, per month
Arizona$112 per person, per month
Arkansas$83 per person, per month
California$280 per person, per month
Colorado$175 per person, per month
Connecticut$230 per person, per month
Delaware$200 per person, per month
District of Columbia$200 per person, per month
Florida$194 per person, per month

The amount of extra SNAP benefits varied from state to state. In most states, the extra benefits were $95 per person, per month. However, some states provided more generous benefits. For example, California provided $280 per person, per month, and New York provided $234 per person, per month.

Eligibility for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Benefits

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, is a federal program that provides food-purchasing assistance to eligible low-income individuals and families. SNAP benefits are distributed electronically through a debit card that can be used to purchase eligible food items at authorized retailers.

Eligibility for SNAP benefits is based on several factors, including income, household size, and assets. To be eligible, individuals must meet the following criteria:

  • Income: Gross income must be at or below 130% of the federal poverty level. For a household of four, this means a gross income of $3,628 per month or less.
  • Household Size: The number of people living in the household is considered when determining eligibility. A larger household size can increase the SNAP benefit amount.
  • Assets: Households are allowed to own certain assets, such as a home, a vehicle, and retirement accounts, without affecting their SNAP eligibility. However, excessive assets can disqualify a household from receiving benefits.

In addition to these general eligibility criteria, there are certain categories of individuals who are automatically eligible for SNAP benefits. These categories include:

  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Children under the age of 18
  • People with disabilities
  • People who are 60 years of age or older

Individuals who believe they may be eligible for SNAP benefits can apply through their state’s Department of Human Services or by visiting the SNAP website at

It’s important to note that SNAP benefits are not considered “extra” food stamps. The amount of benefits that a household receives is based on their income, household size, and assets. The program is designed to provide food assistance to low-income individuals and families who are struggling to meet their basic needs.

Current Status of Extra Food Stamp Issuance

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government provided extra food stamp benefits, known as emergency allotments or supplemental benefits, to help families struggling to afford food. These extra benefits were initially authorized through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 and were extended several times through subsequent legislation.

However, as of March 2023, the emergency allotments have ended, and most households are receiving their regular food stamp benefits. The average food stamp benefit per person is now $281 per month, which is significantly lower than the average benefit of $410 per person during the pandemic.

Factors Contributing to the End of Emergency Allotments

  • Improved Economic Conditions: The U.S. economy has rebounded from the COVID-19 pandemic, with unemployment rates declining and wages increasing. As a result, the need for extra food assistance has decreased.
  • Expiration of Legislative Authority: The legislation authorizing the emergency allotments expired in September 2022, and Congress did not extend it. This means that states are no longer allowed to issue extra food stamp benefits.

Impact on Food Stamp Recipients

The end of emergency allotments has had a significant impact on food stamp recipients. Many families are struggling to afford food and are having to make difficult choices about what to buy.

A recent survey by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that:

  • 42% of food stamp recipients reported that they had difficulty affording food in the past month.
  • 28% of food stamp recipients said they had to skip meals or eat less food in the past month.
  • 18% of food stamp recipients said they had to use food banks or other emergency food services in the past month.


The end of emergency food stamp allotments has left many families struggling to afford food. Congress should consider extending the emergency allotments or providing other assistance to help food stamp recipients during this difficult time.

Increased Food Insecurity and Hunger

Eliminating additional food stamp benefits could lead to a significant increase in food insecurity and hunger among low-income households. Families may struggle to afford enough food to meet their nutritional needs, resulting in increased rates of malnutrition, especially among children.

Strained Charitable Food Systems

As more individuals and families face food insecurity, the demand for charitable food assistance, such as food banks and soup kitchens, could surge. These organizations may face challenges in meeting the growing needs, leading to longer lines, reduced access to food, and increased strain on resources.

Negative Impact on Health Outcomes

Food insecurity is closely linked to various health problems, including chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. Insufficient access to nutritious food can lead to poor overall health, increased healthcare costs, and a lower quality of life for many individuals and families.

Potential Economic Consequences

Ending extra food stamp benefits could have adverse economic consequences. Families may spend less money on other goods and services due to the increased cost of food, impacting local businesses and the overall economy. Additionally, increased healthcare costs associated with food insecurity could strain government resources.

Widening Disparities

Eliminating additional food stamp benefits could exacerbate existing disparities in food security and health outcomes between low-income households and the rest of the population. This could lead to deeper divisions in society and hinder efforts to promote equity and social justice.

Impact on Specific Populations

  • Children: Children are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity, and cuts to food stamp benefits could have severe consequences for their growth and development. Poor nutrition can lead to learning difficulties, behavioral problems, and increased risk of chronic diseases later in life.
  • Older Adults: Many older adults rely on food stamps to supplement their limited incomes. Reducing benefits could make it challenging for them to afford nutritious food, potentially leading to malnutrition and health problems.
  • People with Disabilities: Individuals with disabilities often face additional expenses related to their disability, and food stamps provide essential support in meeting their nutritional needs. Cutting benefits could make it even harder for them to afford food and manage their health conditions.
Comparison of Potential Impacts
Ending Extra Food Stamp BenefitsContinued Extra Food Stamp Benefits
Increased food insecurity and hungerReduced food insecurity and hunger
Strained charitable food systemsLess strain on charitable food systems
Negative impact on health outcomesImproved health outcomes
Potential economic consequencesPositive economic impact
Widening disparitiesReduced disparities