CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Extra monthly benefits for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients have ended. 

What You Need To Know

  • The emergency allotment North Carolina SNAP recipients received during the pandemic ended in March
  • During the pandemic, SNAP recipients received an additional $95 in benefits
  • Priscilla Williams is one of the 1.6 million North Carolina SNAP recipients affected
  • The food pantry Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays is bracing for an increase in demand

During the pandemic, SNAP households received an additional $95 in benefits per month, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says more than 1.6 million North Carolinians participate in SNAP. 

Priscilla Williams receives SNAP and Social Security benefits due to disability. She said she’s on a fixed income. 

“I have to choose between food, a place to stay or utilities. That’s a problem, that is a big problem,” Williams said. 

Williams has been going to a Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays pantry in Charlotte once a month for over a year. This visit helps her supplement her monthly groceries. 

“You get toiletries, cereal, milk, eggs if they have it,” Williams said. 

She used to receive $150 thanks to the SNAP emergency allotment during the pandemic. She said any reduction of this benefit would greatly impact her.

“I’m going to go to another food bank to make up for recovery of what we are going to lose each month,” Williams said.

Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays CEO Tina Postel is anticipating an increase in need. She said 40% of the people the nonprofit serves are SNAP recipients. 

“It’s definitely a double whammy because while benefits are being cut, we are not seeing a drop in prices, so people are seeing the pinch on both ends,” Postel said. 

Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays is already in high demand. In 2022, it served 106,000 people, which is 29,000 more than in 2021. 

“We’re definitely bracing for the worst, hoping for the best. At Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays, we are trying to stock our warehouse full of food to meet the anticipated demand,” Postel said. 

Williams is grateful for this pantry but concerned about having less money for groceries this month. 

“It’s going to be a hardship for us, not only me but everybody nationwide,” Williams said. 

According to the USDA, people receiving Social Security benefits had an increase in January to reflect cost-of-living changes. But Williams said it’s still not enough.

To find food pantry locations in North Carolina, click here.