September 7, 2023

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania recently published a study utilizing national data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey to analyze the effect the end of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Emergency Allotments (EAs) have had on food insufficiency, which is not having enough to eat.

They found that after Emergency Allotments ended:

  • Household and child food insufficiency among all people in the U.S. percent and 6 percent, respectively.
  • Household and child food insufficiency among those receiving SNAP benefits increased by 21 percent.

When applied to the entire U.S. population, results imply that approximately 2 million additional people experienced food insufficiency as a result of Emergency Allotments ending. [1]

Other research has detailed the human and economic impact that the ending of EAs has brought — from individuals being late on rent payments and unable to meet their basic needs, to the grocery retail industry losing $20 billion in profits.[2]  The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) has updated its 50 states fact sheets, which detail the rates of food insecurity , the amount that each state lost in EAs, and an estimate of SNAP time-limited adults who were waived to receive benefits during the pandemic. FRAC utilized food security data reported by USDA as food insufficiency provides relatively little detail on the food hardship experienced and indicates only whether a household had enough to eat. [3] The food security data is more inclusive as it covers multiple items including whether households worried about food running out, dietary quality and variety, and quantity of food consumed.

FRAC encourages you to use these resources in your advocacy to protect and strengthen SNAP. 

FRAC also encourages you to send a message in support of these bills to your Members of Congress via the FRAC Action Network: 

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 improve food security and health by improving SNAP benefit adequacy for all participants. Send a message to Congress (link to FAN) encouraging your members to co-sponsor this important bill.

The Improving Access to Nutrition Act (H.R. 1510, S. 2435), championed by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Sen. Peter Welch (D-VT), would eliminate three-month time limits on SNAP eligibility for certain working-age adults who cannot document sufficient hours of work. The current law provision takes food off the table of unemployed and underemployed people. The proposal is a long overdue and permanent law change that will promote food security and equity for people with low incomes. Use the FRAC Action Network to urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor legislation to end harsh time limits on SNAP benefits.