Early in the COVID-19 public health crisis, Congress passed specific SNAP related provisions and waivers to help struggling families put food on the table. These changes halted recertification interviews, gave families the maximum benefit amount for their family size, and increased that maximum benefit by 15%. This is all because the global pandemic has changed the economy across the country, and families in poverty have not recovered. The SNAP changes are a success, and have helped feed millions across the country the last year and half, including thousands of Missouri children.
These benefits continue across the country, but starting October 1, not in Missouri. When Governor Parson prematurely ends the State of Emergency in Missouri, he is cutting off our neighbors from this vital nutritional support. The Governor said, “Today, we are terminating this order as our situation no longer demands an expansive emergency declaration.” However we all know, the pandemic is not over in Missouri! Nearly our entire state is classified by the CDC as a ‘High Transmission’ risk. Prematurely ending the State of Emergency will impact our most vulnerable neighbors in a negative way.
Missouri households will soon return to a lower level of SNAP assistance, which means less resources flowing into our local food economy. Re-certification hearings have already returned. Missouri families are still struggling just as much if not even more than families in other states across this nation. The provisions that increased SNAP benefits for families during the pandemic were lifesaving to many of our families. To see more details about how the pandemic programs within SNAP helped Missouri families visit FRAC’s new Food Insufficiency Dashboard.
This is not the time to end these additional benefits. Missouri families still need help. More hungry children will not improve the state’s economic recovery. Please contact Governor Parson and ask that he request that the Missouri Department of Social Services continue with the COVID-19 changes to SNAP through at least the end of the year.
Food Security Policy Manager