SNAP benefits to end if disaster declaration terminated

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) – Pennsylvania households could potentially lose hundreds of millions of federally-funded food assistance if the disaster declaration is terminated.

According to the Department of Human Services, the SNAP program has kept food on the table each month for those facing food insecurities during the pandemic. But Secretary Teresa Miller says if the legislature uses a new authority to terminate the commonwealth’s active disaster declaration, it could all go away.

Without the declaration Miller says the state would be unable to request emergency SNAP allotments for the 1.8 million Pennsylvanians who use it for groceries and to feed their families.

DHS reports that since March 2020, Pennsylvanians have received more than $100 million each month and more than $1 billion total in federally-funded SNAP funds to help low-income individuals and families. 

“I’m extremely concerned about what could happen if we are forced to forfeit federal dollars that are directly reaching small businesses, and local food retailers and quite literally helping families feed their children in the midst of a global pandemic,” said Miller.

According to Miller the loss of funding could be disastrous.

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