Extended SNAP benefits end today for Michiganders

Posted at 6:08 AM, Mar 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-01 06:11:07-05

(WXYZ) — With six mouths to feed, food is always top of mind for Jessica Burrell.

"Juices, waters. You know, things to take to school,” she said.

And with the help of SNAP benefits, she’s been able to keep a healthy supply, but her pile will likely dwindle as the state rolls back its budget.

Since May of 2021, the state has been trying to offset the impact of the pandemic by giving families on assistance additional money to keep food on the table. But, those extra benefits end today meaning Burrell’s $1,436 budget is going down to $993.

"When you have a 1-year-old, and a two-year-old that relies on milk, eggs, and bread, things like that, and things are going up and so hard," Burrell said.

As food benefits go down, Najah Bazzy who runs Zaman Internationals, a food pantry in Inkster says lines at the food bank will grow.

"For all non-profits, our goal would be to not to turn people away. But at some point, in time, it's a capacity issue. And so as Southeast Michigan receives more and more refugees, you know the poverty line continues to stay where it's at, and with the economy being what it is, the variables are all there to make life for a non-profit much more difficult," she said.

In December, 80% of food banks were running on a deficit. At least five in metro Detroit closed their doors for good putting food security in jeopardy for many Michigan families. But Najah believes nonprofits will make a way.

"We will figure it out because we have no choice but to figure out. We hope our donor and other partners will step up to fill the gap," she said.