Millions of people are struggling right now with food insecurity.
That’s why President Biden signed an executive order calling on the USDA to expand and extend federal nutrition assistance programs, like SNAP.
The coronavirus didn’t cause the country’s hunger problem, but it has made it worse.
Last year, 35,930 South Dakotans received SNAP with an average monthly benefit per household of $283.96.
South Dakota only saw a slight increase in SNAP participation in the first months of the pandemic, according to Social Services Secretary Laurie Gill.
SNAP helps low-income people buy the food they need to feed their families, but many say it’s not enough.
That’s why President Biden signed an executive order to increase SNAP benefits by 15%.
When a family’s snap benefits run out, a lot of them turn to Feeding South Dakota.
“It’s one of those situations in my mind, every little bits going to help,” Feeding South Dakota Matt Gassen said.
Matt Gassen of Feeding South Dakota often sees those families when they are waiting for their EBT cards to be reloaded for the month.
“10 days or so leading up to that historically has always been a time when we are going to be the busiest because that’s the time when people have run out of SNAP benefits and yet they are in need of food,” Gassen said.
On average, a 15% increase in the monthly SNAP benefit gives each person an approximately extra $20.
“For a lot of them it’s going to help a little bit but it’s not going to be life changing,” Gassen said.
To learn more about SNAP benefits, click here.