This week, under direction from the federal government, the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) has returned SNAP benefits to pre-pandemic levels. Since April 2020, an emergency SNAP allotment was added to the regular monthly benefits in order to address the worsening food insecurity challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act gave households who participate in SNAP an additional $95 to $340 per month.
In Illinois, this reduction will impact approximately two million families, even as inflation continues to increase in grocery stores. As a result, Illinois food banks and pantries are beginning to brace for a difficult month. Already this year, many food pantries have reported a continued increase in families served throughout January and February.
In an effort to reduce strain on households, IDHS has put together a resource page for constituents who may need assistance in managing this reduction in funds. Furthermore, IDHS has said that it will be working closely with various communities and organizations to develop additional support and resources for families struggling with this reduction.