D.C. Households Face Hunger Cliff as Emergency Allotments End
March 7, 2023
By Blake Turpin, Anti-Hunger Program Associate
This blog is Part 1 in a two-part series. Part 1 focuses on the impact of the end of SNAP Emergency Allotments in Washington, D.C. Part 2 highlights two anti-hunger bills passed by the D.C. Council to address food insecurity in the District — the Give SNAP a Raise Amendment Act and the No Senior Hungry Omnibus Amendment Act.
On December 29, 2022, President Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 into law. The act includes $1.7 trillion in funding for fiscal year 2023, including major investments to combat inflation and rising costs of living. The act also includes increased funding for child nutrition and establishes a permanent Summer EBT program. Unfortunately, the act also ends SNAP Emergency Allotments, or EAs.
Emergency Allotments were a temporary benefits boost provided to SNAP households at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. While some states opted out of these benefits in late 2022, Washington, D.C. has continued to offer these benefits. These allotments were authorized to help households address their food needs during the pandemic and provide an economic stimulus at a time when many businesses, including food providers, were struggling. With these allotments, all households received an additional benefit of at least $95 per month, with some households seeing increases of $250 per month or more.
Emergency Allotments will end in D.C. on February 28. This comes at a time when many families are still trying to recover from the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and are now seeing unprecedented inflation at the grocery store. These factors will lead to what many call a “hunger cliff,” where households are seeing a large decrease in benefits that makes it more difficult to put food on the table. This will worsen the hardship that many are already facing, widen racial disparities in food access and food insecurity, and increase food insecurity in households with children. The loss of SNAP EAs also will negatively impact our economy.
Now, more than ever, District households need stronger investments in food and nutrition services. D.C. Hunger Solutions will continue to work with our colleagues at the Food Research & Action Center, our state agency, the D.C. Department of Human Service (DHS), and our community and community partners to ensure all District residents have access to the nutrition they need.
For more information about the end of Emergency Allotments, additional food resources, and maximizing your deductions and benefits, visit https://dhs.dc.gov/page/esa-public-benefit-alerts-, or call D.C. Hunger Solutions at 202-640-1088.