February is the last month Oregonians will receive increased emergency food benefits
January 27 - February is the last month that the federal government will allow Oregon to issue pandemic emergency food benefits. SNAP households will continue to receive their regular SNAP benefits after February.
(Salem) – Since April 2020, most people in Oregon who receive food benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) have also received extra emergency food benefits each month on their electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card. These emergency food benefits were provided to help people who receive SNAP get enough healthy food for themselves and their families during the COVID-19 emergency.
February will be the final month that the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) is allowed to provide these emergency food benefits. March 2023 will be the first month since April 2020 that most people on SNAP in Oregon will only receive their regular SNAP food benefits.
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic we have had the opportunity to provide these emergency food benefits to most SNAP households in Oregon,” said ODHS Director Fariborz Pakseresht. “We know that many rely on these additional emergency food benefits to get enough healthy food for themselves and their families. As Oregon continues to be impacted by COVID-19, we know that without these emergency food benefits some in Oregon may experience hardship and hunger. We encourage them to contact our partners at 211, Oregon Food Bank and their local Community Action Agency for support during this difficult time.”
Oregonians who receive SNAP are encouraged to prepare for this change in the food benefits they receive.
Find out what your regular SNAP benefit amount is. Knowing your regular SNAP benefit can help you budget. You can check how much your regular benefits are by accessing your EBT account online at www.ebtEDGE.com or by logging into your ONE account at Benefits.oregon.gov.
On October 1, 2021, regular SNAP food benefits were permanently increased by an average of about $36 per person, per month.
In January 2022, Oregon increased the income eligibility limit for SNAP up to 200% of the federal poverty level. This means that an individual with up to $2,265 in income per month, or a family of three with up to $3,838 in income per month, are eligible to receive SNAP food benefits.
Why emergency food benefits are ending after February 2023
The federal government has approved emergency allotments every month since April 2020. The 2023 federal spending bill ended funding for emergency allotments. Due to this change, the federal government will no longer allow Oregon to issue emergency food benefits after February 2023.
This means that February 2023 is the final month that ODHS is allowed to provide these emergency food benefits to people receiving SNAP in Oregon. These emergency food benefits have provided people in Oregon with $1.9 billion in additional money for food since April 2020.
More information about emergency allotments is available at https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/ASSISTANCE/FOOD-BENEFITS/Pages/About-SNAP.aspx.
Questions about your SNAP benefits can also be directed to the ONE Customer Service Center at 1-800-699-9075. The ONE Customer Service Center is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific Time.
Resources: Some state and local partners can help individuals make a plan to meet food needs after receiving their last month of emergency food benefits.
211 Info: Dial 2-1-1 or visit www.211info.org/
Aging and Disability Resource Connection of Oregon (ADRC): Dial 1-855- 673-2372 or visit www.adrcoforegon.org/
Oregon Food Bank’s www.oregonfoodfinder.org/
Local food banks or pantries:
Community Action Agencies in your area: www.caporegon.org/
Additional resources to support additional household costs:
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps keep people safe and healthy through initiatives that assist individuals and families with energy costs. Visit LIHEAP Assistance or call 1-866-674-6327 for information on how to apply for energy assistance.
Additional utility bill assistance is provided by Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) through local agencies. You can apply with a local agency on their website: https://www.oregon.gov/ohcs/energy-weatherization/Pages/utility-bill-payment-assistance.aspx
The Affordable Connectivity Program offers at least a $30 monthly discount on internet service for qualifying households. If you are receiving benefits from ODHS, you may automatically qualify. To check your eligibility or submit a free no-risk application, visit GetInternet.gov or call 1-877-384- 2575.
Rental and housing assistance is offered through OHCS. Visit the OHCS website at https://www.oregon.gov/ohcs/housing-assistance/Pages/housing-assistance.aspx