Important updates to federal nutrition benefits
We’re posting to share some recent updates about federal changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
SNAP benefits help over two million Illinois residents access nutritious food for themselves and their families. In 2020, nearly 67,000 residents of Lake County alone relied on SNAP benefits, with the number of people receiving benefits believed to have increased since then due to ongoing instability brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the Federal Government increased benefits for SNAP recipients across the country. Unfortunately, these increased federal benefits expired on March 1, 2023. You can read more about this change here.
This means that starting March 2023, SNAP recipients in Illinois will see their benefits return to pre-pandemic levels. For many that means their benefits will be reduced anywhere from $95 to $250 per person per month. (Note: SNAP recipients can always check on the status of their benefits here.)
This is a significant reduction in benefits, and we understand that this change will put a strain on Illinois families who are already facing high costs of living. While this change is due to federal policy decisions and not policy decisions made at the state level, I will continue to work with my colleagues in Springfield to find ways that our state can step-up and help offer more relief to families who rely on SNAP to get food on their table.
In the meantime, if you or someone you know is food insecure, our team has worked to identify a few resources here in our community. You can explore food assistance programs at this link, including food pantries, around our district to help meet your family’s nutritional needs.
If you are looking for ways to help your neighbors in need, consider donating funds or eligible items to these providers and/or volunteering your time. Call your local pantry or food assistance program at the link above for more information about volunteer opportunities, making monetary donations, or donating eligible items.