SNAP benefits are decreasing soon. What should you do?
Since April 2020, there has been a temporary boost to SNAP benefits in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Households received a minimum $95 extra every month. These SNAP emergency allotments are now scheduled to end in Illinois on February 28. This means that all SNAP households will see a decrease of at least $95 and as much as $250 in SNAP benefits starting in March.
Most SNAP households that receive Social Security benefits are seeing an additional drop in SNAP benefits this year. Social Security benefits have increased by an average of more than $140 in response to inflation, and this additional household income decreases the amount of SNAP benefits people are eligible for. Though this should mean a net increase in benefits for most households, it may make some households income ineligible for SNAP altogether.
We know that these changes will result in greater hardship for many people. There are a few actions you can take to help prepare.
- Visit www.abe.illinois.gov or call the IDHS Helpline (1-800-843-6154) to update your account with any change in address, increase in expenses, or decrease in income. This will help ensure you are receiving the full amount for which you are eligible.
- Find local food pantries. Nearby pantries in the greater Rockford area include, but are not limited to:
- Christ the Carpenter UMC Food Pantry - 1100 S Winnebago St (2nd/3rd/4th/5th Mon of the month, 12:30pm-2:30pm)
- Cornucopia Food Pantry - 402 Market St (Tue/Thu/Sat, 9am-11am)
- Emmanuel Lutheran Food Pantry - 920 3rd Ave (Fri, 9:30am-11:30am)
- Rock River Valley Pantry - 421 S Rockton Ave (Mon-Fri, 1pm-4pm)
- The Salvation Army - 416 S Madison St (Mon-Fri, 9am-3pm)
- St. Elizabeth Catholic Community Center - 1505 S Main St (Mon-Thur, 1pm-2:30pm; Fri, 9:30am-10:30am)
- If you are aged 60 or older, you can receive home-delivered meals through Lifescape Community Services. Call 815-963-1609 for more information.
- If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or just had a baby, apply for WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) food assistance at the DHS office by calling 815-987-7620.
- Call 211 to be referred to additional sources of assistance.
To request no-cost legal help from Prairie State Legal Services, call us at (815) 965-2902 or visit www.illinoislegalaid.org/get-legal-help.