Emergency SNAP Allotments are Ending, and Our Food Programs are Here to Help! 

Written By: Lindsay Troyer

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) recipients in Pennsylvania have been temporarily receiving an “extra SNAP” payment in the second half of the month. This extra boost (averaging $95+) has been supporting households already experiencing food insecurity and helped mitigate the impact of the pandemic on this more vulnerable population. However, these additional SNAP distributions will be ending this month, and food banks and nonprofits are preparing for the predicted increases, including our food programs here at BCHG. We are ready to help our community members who will face extra needs as a result of this change. Please visit and share our food pantries pageif you or someone you care about is in need, and continue reading to learn more about this policy and its changes in our community.  

What is SNAP and how do ‘emergency allotments’ work? 

SNAP benefits are tiered monthly monetary distribution based on the USDA’s Thrifty Food Plan – defined by the USDA as “the cost of groceries needed to provide a healthy, budget-conscious diet for a family of four.” The “maximum benefit allowed” is given to those with essentially no income. Using this determination, a family of 4’s maximum allotment would be $939/month, and under non-emergency circumstances, that maximum allotment would be reduced by 30% of the household’s net income, averaging closer to $700/month for that family of 4.  

Emergency Allotments were implemented at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and SNAP recipients who had already been receiving the maximum allotment based on their ‘income’ received a second payment of an additional $95/month. Recipients who hadn’t met the maximum allotment prior to the pandemic began receiving the difference between their distribution and the maximum allotment as a second monthly disbursement in the second half of the month.  

Emergency Allotment Impact

Emergency allotments kept approximately 4.2 million people out of poverty, reducing poverty by 9.6% in states with them – including reducing child poverty by 14% (Wheaton and Kwon, Urban Institute, 2022). Unfortunately, ending these extra SNAP allotments will create extra challenges for our community members to meet their nutritional and dietary needs, but that’s where your local food banks, pantries, and community fridges help bridge the gap. Now more than ever, this is where food secure community members can get involved and really make a big difference.  


Check out our food programs page for more information about our food pantry, mobile markets, and how to get involved in our community! To donate to our mission and our food programs, visit our donations page.


To see our food program’s impact on Bucks County children, check out this infographic:

Ayleah is a student at Swarthmore College majoring in Economics and minoring in Global Studies. She is interested in learning more about urban planning and researching public health disparities.

Ayleah’s work was focused on creating a transportation program in suburbs and rural areas like Bucks County. She is exploring why there is a need for transportation in these areas mainly because there is a lack of reliable and affordable public transportation in these areas.

“From my own experience back at home in North Carolina, I know relying on public transit can make one trip take an entire afternoon. It’s not all that uncommon for families to delay getting medication, finding help at food banks/shelters, or keep up with financial services just because there’s no way for them to get across town. Over time, these problems compound, especially for vulnerable populations like the elderly, disabled, veterans, or families. For these reasons, I believe investing into private transportation services, such as uber/lyft assistance, van shuttling, and helping pay for auto repairs, would be more effective measures at providing transportation assistance to people in rural and suburban areas as opposed to providing public transit.”

To view Ayleah’s research, click here.

We wanted to cast a spotlight on our final student researcher who worked with us this past summer. Thank you Kahlaa for all of the meaningful support you have provided to our organization.

Kahlaa is a student at Swarthmore College, majoring in Economics and minoring in Engineering. Last summer, Kahlaa researched the relationship between housing and health in Pennsylvania, based on counties’ median household income. Kahlaa was recently abroad in Spring of 2020 with a global health curriculum, and she was motivated in learning more about the complexity of health in the U.S through her research.

Click here to view Kahlaa’s research.

During the summer of 2020, Bucks County Housing Group ran a Research Internship to help shed light on the community problems that we work with every day. We would like to use our website to highlight their work.

Meet Puja! Puja is a student at George Washington University studying political science and economics.

Last summer, Puja studied how the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are changing the housing conditions of those in the Bucks County community. Specifically, she focused on BCHG’s housing program clients and how their needs have evolved during this challenging time. At the end of her study, she developed recommendations for potential adaptations to the housing programs. Puja is interested in this issue because she enjoys exploring economic topics, and wanted to address a current and relevant problem in her community.

This summer, Puja plans to return to examine the longitudinal effects of the pandemic on those in need throughout our county.

To view Puja’s research so far, click here.