SNAP ‘Emergency Allotments’ expiring, reducing benefits for thousands locally - Foodlink Inc

SNAP ‘Emergency Allotments’ expiring, reducing benefits for thousands locally

Supplemental Emergency Allotments (EA) of SNAP benefits, which have been issued since April 2020 to help households during the COVID pandemic, will be eliminated after February due to the passage of new federal legislation.  

Starting in March, SNAP recipients will get only one allocation per month – their normal benefit. The elimination of supplemental benefits represents a reduction of nearly $10.7 million per month for Monroe County families, and will impact more than 62,000 households (and more than 108,000 residents). The reduction in benefits ranges per household, with most experiencing a loss between $95 and $200 per month. 


“Foodlink understands the critical role that SNAP plays in ensuring thousands of our neighbors have access to enough healthy food,” said Julia Tedesco, President & CEO of Foodlink. “This reduction in benefits will present significant challenges for thousands of families in our region, and our organization will continue to serve as a resource to help collaborate with community partners, and connect people to information, food and other resources in the Rochester area.”  

Through federal legislation, SNAP EAs were enacted in all states to help offset the economic impact of COVID-19 in 2020, helping millions of Americans put food on the table. By the end of 2022, approximately half of all states – including New York – still permitted the issuance of these extra benefits, aligning their continuance with the federal Public Health Emergency. New federal legislation passed at the end of 2022, however, forced every state to end the allocations no later than February.  

Representatives from Causewave Community Partners, Foodlink, Monroe County, the United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes and Goodwill of the Finger Lakes announced outreach plans Thursday to notify county residents about the changes. The communications campaign is generously funded by the United Way and several local foundations, including the Rochester Area Community Foundation, the Greater Rochester Health Foundation, the Farash Foundation and the ESL Charitable Foundation, and aims to amplify local resources to assist families that will soon see a reduction in benefits. New York State’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) is also notifying all households via mailings and a series of text messages.  

Officials emphasized that all benefits already issued on EBT cards will not disappear, as they are still able to be carried over month to month – for a maximum of 274 days (approximately nine months). State officials also told residents to be wary of scammers. The state will alert SNAP recipients about the changes via text message (via 877-902-0684), but will never ask anyone for their EBT card number or PIN.   

 Other resources and tips include:  

  • Residents can seek assistance from emergency food providers by visiting or by calling 2-1-1. Hundreds of local food pantries, community meal programs, Pop-up Pantries, Curbside Market sites and more are available. Foodlink is also mobilizing to host additional Pop-up Pantries in Monroe County in March to help households with this difficult transition, and will announce dates and sites later this month.  
  • If you’ve recently experienced a loss in income or an increase in expenses (housing, childcare fees, child support payments, allowable medical expenses) report verification of those changes through the NYS Mobile Upload DocSubmit app available on Google Play or the Apple Store to have your SNAP benefits reviewed.
  • Seek out additional programs to help with household expenses, such as nutrition assistance through the Women, Infants & Children (WIC) program, the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), or the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Learn more at: 
  • SNAP recipients can visit or call 1-888-328-6399 to check their balance and understand what their normal benefit will be starting in March.  

Local residents can visit for more information and local resources. Additional information is available through the state’s OTDA FAQ page.   

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