July 11, 2023

Millions of people with low incomes in the U.S. are experiencing a hunger cliff since temporary increases in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits during COVID-19 ended in early 2023.  This resulted in benefits averaging a mere $6 a person a day. The impact of the end of the SNAP Emergency Allotments has been felt deeply not just by households but by grocers as well. 

 An all time-high of 60 percent of SNAP participants surveyed by Propel in June 2023, reported not having the household essentials they typically need. Participants reported being forced to choose between buying food or paying for rent and utility and other bills. The survey also found that Black respondents were more likely to be behind on rent and utility payments than White and Latinx respondents.  

The decrease in SNAP benefits also has impacted grocery retailers. Economists estimate that grocery retailers are set to lose $20 billion this year in sales due to the SNAP benefit reduction caused by the end of Emergency Allotments. This dramatic loss does not take into account the loss of jobs and taxes this decrease will have on the economy. For example, in 2020, the temporary boost to SNAP benefits were responsible for:  

  • nearly 200,000 U.S. grocery industry jobs, with wages totaling more than $6.7 billion;  
  • nearly 45,000 more jobs in agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, municipal services, and other industries; and 
  • generating more than $1 billion in federal tax receipts and $975 million in state and local tax receipts.  

Take Action Now 

SNAP plays a critical role in reducing food insecurity while providing jobs and dignity. The reduction of SNAP benefits has had both an economic and human impact.  

The Closing the Meal Gap Act of 2023 (H.R. 3037/S. 1336), introduced by Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), would address this hunger cliff and improve food security and health by improving SNAP benefit adequacy for all participants.  

Urge your Members of Congress to pass this critical legislation. Hungry people can’t wait.