PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Oregonians who receive SNAP benefits should be prepared for the emergency benefits to end after February.
The Oregon Department of Human Services announced Tuesday that February is the last month the federal government will allow Oregon to issue pandemic emergency food benefits.
Oregonians who receive food benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP, have been receiving extra food benefits each month on their electronic benefits transfer card, or their EBT card, since April 2020. The extra benefits were meant to help SNAP recipients get the healthy food they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The end of the emergency benefits means that March 2023 will be the first month since April 2020 that people on SNAP in Oregon will receive regular benefits.
“We know that many rely on these additional emergency food benefits to get enough healthy food for themselves and their families. As Oregon continues to be impacted by COVID-19, we know that without these emergency food benefits some in Oregon may experience hardship and hunger. We encourage them to contact our partners at 211, Oregon Food Bank and their local Community Action Agency for support during this difficult time,” said ODHS Director Fariborz Pakseresht.
Oregonians can find food resources in their community by visiting needfood.oregon.gov. They can also find a food pantry at foodfinder.oregonfoodbank.org.
To help ensure people have access to enough healthy food for themselves and their families, regular SNAP benefits permanently increased by about $36 per person, per month in October 2021. SNAP income eligibility limits increased in 2022 to 200% of the federal property level.
This means someone with an income of up to $2,265 per month, or a family of three with up to $3,838 per month, are eligible to receive SNAP benefits.
Oregonians who receive SNAP are encouraged to find out what their regular SNAP benefit amount is to help budget for the change in benefits. Recipients can check their regular benefit amount online at www.ebtEDGE.com or by logging into their ONE account at Benefits.oregon.gov.
People can also ask questions about their SNAP benefits by calling the ONE Customer Service Center at 1-800-699-9075. The line is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Regular SNAP benefits are added to EBT cards between the first and the ninth day of the month.
ODHS said the 2023 federal spending bill ended funding for emergency allotments and will no longer allow Oregon to issue emergency food benefits after February 2023.
The emergency food benefits have provided people in Oregon with $1.9 billion in additional money for food since April 2020.