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New law will end COVID emergency funding for SNAP recipients

Michigan Legislature votes to ban local food, beverage taxes
Flickr user Liz West / Flickr

February will be the last month SNAP recipients will receive an extra $95 from COVID emergency funding.

Last December, Congress passed theConsolidated Appropriations Act, which ended these emergency allotments.

Since 2020, these benefits were allocated by the Michigan Legislature to curb pandemic-related food insecurity, and address the rising cost of groceries.

Alex Canepa is the assistant director of policy at the Fair Food Network.

He hopes that future policy will focus on getting assistance directly to families in need.

“This is a big, expensive, complex, problem, but the solution doesn't necessarily have to be overly complex. It's about giving people the resources they need to do the most basic thing that any family does, which is put food on the table,” Canepa said.

The Fair Food Network is a nonprofit organization that began the Double Up Food Buck program in Michigan, which matches EBT money spent on fresh fruits and vegetables, at over 250 farmers markets and grocery stores. SNAP recipients can receive up to $10 a day using double up food bucks. Canepa hopes that the program can support families looking for further assistance now that the SNAP will be returning to its pre-COVID amount.

Meijer stores will also offer a 10% discount on fresh fruits and vegetables for SNAP recipients until March 31.

Canepa explains that there is a state budget surplus that is needed to continue to fund programs like Double Up Food Bucks. However, permanent increases in SNAP benefits will have to be agreed upon in Congress.

Taylor Bowie is a senior studying English Literature at the University of Michigan and an intern in the Michigan Radio newsroom. She is originally from Owosso, Michigan.
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