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Monday, March 13, 2023

In the Globe: ‘As food aid program winds down, another piece of the COVID-era safety net gets snipped away’

Catholic Charities Boston was featured in a recent Boston Globe article that sheds light on the impact of the federal government’s decision to end Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Emergency Allotments. Initially offered in response to the pandemic, SNAP Emergency Allotments helped thousands of low-income families pay their bills and keep food on the table, despite the financial hardships that Covid-19 and inflation entailed. The article demonstrates how, without this added support from the government, and with the cost of living at a high, many families in the community are struggling more than ever.

Beth Chambers, Vice President of Basic Needs, was quoted in the article saying, “We’re getting ready for another turn in the wheel with this pandemic. We were always thought of as an emergency food pantry, and the word emergency is gone now.”

The article states that “Over 638,000 households in Massachusetts receive SNAP benefits” and over “630,000 households will lose an average of $161 a month in extra COVID-era benefits.”

The Globe spoke to a range of individuals who are feeling the financial burden of this change, including Marina Peña, a new client of Catholic Charities Lynn food pantry, who “saw her SNAP benefits drop from $983 a month with pandemic aid to just $401 this month.”

“Every night I just lay back, and I cry. My kids and grandkids say, ‘Mom, I’m hungry. I’m hungry.’ What are you supposed to do?” she said. “It’s like everybody hit rock bottom again.”

Read the full piece in The Boston Globe here.

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