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SNAP emergency allotments ending soon

Updated: Feb 10, 2023

Guam’s ‘emergency’ status anticipated to end as well




By Pacific Island Times News Staff


Guam will stop receiving $2.3 million in monthly Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program emergency allotments for 15,000 households after the end of this month.


“Soon, many SNAP households will experience a change to their benefit amounts. That’s because the temporary pandemic-related boost to SNAP benefits, known as emergency allotments, is coming to an end,” Cindy Long, administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service announced today.


Emergency allotments of what used to be known as “food stamps” have been in place for two years to help SNAP households “navigate the initial hardships of the Covid-19 pandemic.”


Several states have stopped issuing emergency allotments and already returned to normal SNAP benefit amounts, Long said. “In all other states and territories, the temporary boost in benefits will end after February, meaning benefits will return to normal amounts starting in March,” she added.


Guam, which remains under an "emergency" status, is among the U.S. jurisdictions that have continued to avail of supplemental cash assistance.


On Jan. 6, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero finally ended the Covid-related public health emergency, which was first declared on March 15, 2020 and constantly extended each month until it was lifted.

In the same executive order that lifted the public health emergency, the governor declared Guam “under a state of emergency due to the food insecurity experienced by our people as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“This emergency is declared for the limited purpose of administering the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program emergency allotments for eligible individuals and families to alleviate food insecurity during the national public health emergency,” the governor stated in her executive order.


She said the emergency declaration would continue "until the national public health emergency related to the Covid-19 pandemic terminates, or until such time the benefit period for state emergency allotments ends, whichever occurs first."

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“More than 41 million Americans receive food-buying benefits through SNAP. They rely on these benefits to put food on the table each month,” Long said. “That’s why it’s so important they know what’s happening to their benefits – and when – so they can plan for themselves and their families.”


“We are working closely with all our federal, state and local partners to ensure SNAP participants are aware of the upcoming changes, so they aren’t caught by surprise. We encourage all program participants to make sure their contact information is up to date, so their local SNAP office can communicate any upcoming changes,” the FNS administrator added.


She also encouraged SNAP households to take advantage of other FNS programs they may be eligible for that can help meet their overall nutrition needs.


“Eligible individuals can participate in SNAP and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, or WIC,” Long said.


WIC provides nutritious supplemental foods, in addition to a cash-value benefit for fruits and vegetables, as well as nutrition education and referrals to health and social services.


FNS also provides support through school meals, summer meal programs, the Emergency Food Assistance Program, and the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program among others.


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