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In the News: “As Supplemental Snap Benefits End, Aid For Food Relief Arrives”

Mar. 17, 2023

The end of March, already a lean time for low-income Islanders and those whose seasonal earnings don’t always last through the winter, is looking even tougher this year for people who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps.

On March 2, the federal government issued the last of its pandemic allotments, a temporary additional SNAP benefit of at least $95 a month depending on household size. Originally meant to assist recipients whose income suffered from Covid-19 closures and restrictions, the allotments have helped some 1,000 Vineyard families keep up with rising food prices. “People have started relying on that extra money, and now they’re trying to figure out how they’re going to make ends meet,” said Dukes County social services case worker Delilah Meegan.

Another key source of relief for hungry Islanders was also set to expire next month: a $1.2 million federal grant for a pair of homegrown community food programs that have helped feed thousands of people over the past year.

But just as the money was starting to run out, the Martha’s Vineyard Community Foundation announced last week that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) grant has been not only renewed, but increased to $1.3 million.