Food banks preparing as SNAP benefits set to expire next month

Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 6:53 PM CST
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ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - SNAP emergency benefits are ending across the nation next month, and local food banks are preparing for more people needing food.

“We knew it would come eventually so we’ve really been pulling our partners in and talking with them,” OK DHS director of adult and family services Deborah Smith said. “Trying to make sure that everyone knows this change is happening for families and there will be an increased demand for their services, it will be a big impact on a lot of Oklahomans.”

Smith said the emergency benefits started in April of 2020 when the pandemic hit.

Oklahomans began getting a second benefit allotment midway through the month in addition to the usual benefit at the beginning.

Now that’s ending nationwide.

At the Salvation Army in Ardmore, social service director Crystal Douglas said they’re gearing up for more people needing help.

“We do expect for the numbers to increase because of the price of food the groceries is going up and then the snap benefits are ending,” Douglas said.

Smith said anyone who is having trouble making dinner with a tighter budget can find recipe ideas on the SNAP education website.

Salvation Army officer Bobby Carr said people can also stretch their SNAP dollars by coming to the Salvation Army’s new satellite food giveaways each month.

“A lot of areas around here are what we call a food desert,” Carr said. “There’s not many grocery stores or accessible food or resource outlets near them. We began taking out our disaster truck with 60-70 orders, groceries, and some meat items, and we stay until it’s all gone.”

“We see that this is going to be a challenge for many,” Smith said. “We’re in this with you and we will do our best to support you during this transition.”

“Everyone needs help sometimes in their life, there’s no need of being ashamed,” Douglas said. “This is what we’re here for. We’re here to help the community and help the ones in need.”