SNAP recipients in the Panhandle will see a drastic change in benefits come March

Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 7:47 PM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, families have been receiving emergency allotments for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP or food stamps.

Those using these benefits will soon see a drastic change in their benefits.

In March, all benefits will return to normal pre-pandemic amounts.

All households will see at least a $95 decrease on their EBT cards, while some will see even more.

“The maximum monthly benefit for a family of four is $939, if this family’s regular monthly allotment is $500, they would have received $939 per month with the supplement. Starting in March 2023, their regular monthly benefit of $500 will resume,” said José Andrés Araiza, Ph.D., deputy chief press officer, Texas Health & Human Services.

Area food pantries believe this change will have a negative impact on those in the Panhandle.

“It’s gonna go back to pre COVID where they’re having to choose between food, medical, or even utilities,” said Nellie Ramon, director of social services, High Plains Food Bank.

Catholic Charities of the Texas Panhandle believes they will have to serve more because of the benefits ending, but also inflation.

“You go to buy eggs, milk, things of that nature, that have historically been low cost, easy to get, now they’re outrageously priced and it’s difficult for someone that relies on basics like that to get by,” said Jeff Gulde, executive director, Catholic Charities of the Texas Panhandle.

Catholic Charities’ Interfaith Hunger Program is extending its age requirement to serve more.

“Because of a few amazing funders and organizations, including the City of Amarillo, their senior services program and their ARPA funding, also in conjunction with the Mary E. Bivins foundation funding, we have been able to lower our minimum wage requirement to 50 instead 55,” said Chris Flores, interfaith hunger program manager, Catholic Charities of the Texas Panhandle.

If you are needing assistance with food, the Interfaith Hunger Program asks you to call Jamie at (806) 376-4571 Ext #205 or Chris Ext #206 and to also have all your documents ready to make an appointment.

You must be 50 years or older and/or receiving disability benefits at any age and bring with you:

  • Proof of income for all individuals 18 years or older in the house hold
  • Food stamp letter
  • Proof of residency
  • Photo ID for all individuals 18 years or older in the household
  • All major monthly bills

High Plains Food Bank is also here to assist you, if you have received a letter saying your benefits are changing, they’ll walk you through what it means and help you find any assistance needed.

Click here for more information.

Texans can also contact 2-1-1 Texas Information and Referral Network (TIRN) by phone at 2-1-1, option 1, or online.

TIRN provides information and referrals to governmental and community social services including food pantries, housing, senior services, childcare, or help to pay prescriptions, utilities, or rent.

You can also seek assistance from a Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC)-certified Community Partner by clicking here.

To find local food banks in your area, click here.