SNAP benefits set to return to pre-pandemic levels

[anvplayer video=”5158445″ station=”998122″]

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The New Mexico Human Services Department announced major changes coming to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, otherwise known as SNAP, Thursday.

“We’ve got some really important news that affects an awful lot of new Mexicans,” said Human Services Secretary Dr. David Scrase.

But how are those benefits determined?

“The simplest version of how SNAP works is it’s mainly driven by family composition, and monthly income,” he said.

During the height of the pandemic the federal government authorized emergency allotments to up SNAP benefits, but Thursday HSD said that’s changing soon.

“Congress disconnected the public health emergency from these benefits, and so that’s why the big change is coming soon, and so these changes are coming very quickly,” Scrase said. “We’ve got 267,212 families in this federal program, and you can see that right now with the emergency allotment, they’re getting $536 a month for food. And when March 1 comes, that allotment, the regular SNAP benefit will drop to $375 a month, a drop of $161 per month in the family’s food budget.”

According to the Health and Human Services Department, it is critical to make sure you renew your benefits. It wasn’t required previously during the pandemic, but if you don’t renew now, you could be dis-enrolled.

With the federal government dropping emergency allotments, Scrase said New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is trying to get state-funded programs in place during the legislative session.

“They include free and high-quality breakfast and lunch to school children, enhancing senior nutrition, expanding benefits that we started the double bucks program where for even my $2 worth of food at a farmers market for only $1,” Scrase said.

If you’d like to check on your SNAP benefits, click here.