STATE HOUSE – Rep. David Morales has introduced legislation that would temporarily extend additional support for individuals and families who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
“Across every city and town, we have a total of over 80,000 households in our state that depend on SNAP to access nutritious food and their daily groceries,” said Representative Morales (D-Dist. 7, Providence). “With increasing food costs and supply chain issues, our working people, families, and seniors cannot afford to see a reduction in their SNAP benefits. Even with a lack of federal support, our state has the responsibility to step up and help our neighbors.”
Under the 2020 Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the federal government increased SNAP benefits for qualifying households by an average of $95 per month. That funding contributed to nationwide reductions in child hunger and poverty. As of March 1, however, the extra federal benefits will expire.
The legislation (2023-H 5799) would direct the Department of Human Services to offset this loss of benefits by increasing the monthly SNAP allotment to families by an additional $95 per month from July 1 through December 31, 2023.
“During the height of the pandemic, increased federal and state support for SNAP helped reduce childhood hunger and poverty,” Representative Morales said. “So while we made clear and meaningful progress, it is alarming to see us falling backwards as we still have neighbors who are struggling with food insecurity. By passing this legislation, however, we will protect our working people, families, and seniors who are losing additional benefits to no fault of their own!”