ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – The Food Bank of the Southern Tier is getting ready for a bigger need in the community as millions of Americans will lose their COVID-era increased SNAP benefits next month.

The extra SNAP benefits will go away in 32 states in March 2023 after U.S. lawmakers temporarily increased them in March 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic. Families who got the emergency benefits have been receiving more than they would ordinarily be eligible for.

The Food Bank said New Yorkers will lose, on average, about $151 per household without the extra benefits. As a result, FBST said it will increase the number of available spots for its Mobile Food Pantries by about 300 families. The organization also said it will work with other agencies to deal with the increased need.

“At a time of record high inflation and demand for food bank services, New York State stands to
lose $228 million in federal funds per month,” said FBST VP of Community Impact Randi Quackenbush. “We will do our best to address the increased need, but the reality is that charity alone cannot fill this gap.”