Marylanders feeling the void as EA food assistance comes to an end

MARYLAND – Shelters and food pantries say they’re seeing an uptick in need as SNAP emergency allotment (EA) from the federal government dries up.

Families have been without that extra help for about 2 weeks since SNAP EA ended with the month of February.

“They’re losing about $100.00 each month of food,” says Reverand Mark Thompson, the Director of Adopt-A-Block.

Marylanders are taking the hit after pandemic-era food benefits get cut at the end of February. Now more people on Delmarva are turning to community resources. “We have more coming from the public that are homeless that come to eat our hot lunch, dinners on a nightly basis we serve. There’s nowhere for the homeless to cook,” says Jennifer Charbonneau. “We’re seeing now an increase of nontraditional people, who are coming to us for food. We’re seeing just regular working people now, they are driving up to our church calling me on the cell phone asking for food assistance,” said Rev. Mark Thompson.

Jenn Charbonneau with the Hope and Life Outreach center says ending the extra food benefit hits home for those who don’t have one because there’s a lack of existing resources. “They live outside most of the time with no electricity and no water and so they come here for a prepared meal cause it’s hot and ready and they don’t have to pay for it,” she said.

Part of the problem Reverend Mark Thompson with Adopt-A-Block says when the funds first increased not everyone knew how to manage a budget. “That we weren’t able to train people or really go over educating people on how to balance a budget, even though they had resources of extra finances coming in,” he said.

With this change both HALO and Adopt A block are preparing to make sure bellies are fed. “Here at HALO in the daytime, we help the homeless that don’t live here as well for their case management, their food stamps their medical,” Charbonneau adds.

Reverend Mark Thompson says it’s going to take organizations like his to be more vocal about the help that’s still needed. That includes talking to your local delegates and representatives and bringing these concerns to the table.

For more information about Adopt A Blocks resources visit their website. Meanwhile, HALO is preparing for more people to come into their doors as the winter season comes to an end.
They say nearby shelters will be closing meaning their flow of people will only grow larger.

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