Although the Department of Health and Human Services has renewed the current public health emergency through April of 2023, the federal government continues to cut back on crucial pandemic programs that help families access needed food. Starting in March 2023, SNAP recipients will no longer receive extra  emergency food benefits known as SNAP Emergency Allotments (EA).

What are SNAP Emergency Allotments?

Starting in April 2020, the federal government allowed states to provide emergency allotments to SNAP recipients. These emergency food benefits, which were received as a second installment on recipients’ EBT cards, were provided to help people who receive SNAP get enough food for themselves and their families during the COVID-19 emergency. 

These waivers will no longer be funded under the federal government’s new spending bill, signed into law in January 2023. As a result, February 2023 is the last month that the federal government will allow Oregon to issue pandemic emergency food benefits. In March 2023, SNAP recipients will only receive the regular amount on their benefit cards, and will not receive a second allotment later in the month.

Oregonians did receive a permanent increase to SNAP benefits starting in October 2021 – on average $36 per person, per month, so regular benefits will continue to be higher than the pre-pandemic amount.

What Should I Do Before SNAP EA Expires?

We know losing this emergency benefit will be hard, but there are things you can do to lessen the strain. 

Make sure your information is up-to-date with the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) to ensure you’re receiving all the benefits you qualify for. A decrease in income, or an increase in the number of dependents in your household or the cost of your childcare, may mean you qualify for more benefits than you did previously. Changes can be reported online or by phone (800-699-9075), in writing or in person at an ODHS office,

Find out how much your regular benefit amount is. 

  • On your ONE account dashboard page – The regular SNAP amount will be listed under “Monthly Benefit Amount”.
  • In your EBT Edge account activity – The regular SNAP amount will be the amount added to your card between the 1st and the 9th of each month.

Budget your SNAP spending. SNAP benefits are not “use it or lose it.” You can keep SNAP benefits on your card indefinitely (as long as you use the card once every nine months to keep it active), so you don’t need to spend all of your February benefits at one time.

Seek out local resources. 

  • Use the Oregon Food Bank’s Foodfinder to find a food bank near you
  • Visit PDX Free Fridge to access a network of network of independent free fridges and pantries in Portland, OR
  • Find a Food Not Bombs location near you
  • If you live in Portland, check out free food events from Food Not Bombs PDX
  • Utilize Double Up Food Bucks at your local Farmers’ Market to stretch your SNAP benefits
  • Adults 60 years and older can receive home-delivered meals through Meals on Wheels People
  • Call 211 for local resources

Visit Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon’s SNAP Overview page to learn more about SNAP benefits, eligibility, and more.