Local mother hit hard by loss of additional Nutrition Assistance

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Arizona households receiving food benefits will no longer get the extra benefits they received during the pandemic after this month. The additional funding is ending since the Arizona State of Emergency Declaration ended on March 30, 2022.

KGUN 9 spoke with Heather Thatcher, a single mother of two, who says she doesn’t know what she’ll do once her benefits go down, especially with the state of inflation. Thatcher works 40 hours a week and relies on the Arizona Department of Economic Security’s Nutrition Assistance Program to help make ends meet and feed her children.

“My benefits right now are $600. Before COVID…I wasn’t even making $400,” Thatcher said.

Thatcher says that after this month her nutritional assistance from the state will be reduced by about $200. For her and her two children, that’s a week of shopping.

“It’s a big deal. It’s going to hurt me in the sense that the $600 I’m getting now still doesn’t feed us all,” Thatcher said. “I still have to reach out to food pantries, get food boxes, get help from family when they can help.”

KGUN 9 contacted AZ DES officials who provided the following statement:

DES and its community partners have a variety of food assistance programs [des.az.gov] that can help support families in need. DES also offers a variety of assistance programs beyond hunger relief, including medical assistance, unemployment insurance, emergency rental assistance, child care assistance, and more.

During the Arizona Public Health Emergency, eligible Arizona households have been receiving Emergency Nutrition Assistance (NA) Allowances in addition to their current monthly NA benefit amount to help address temporary food needs during the health emergency. public. The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service allowed states to issue the assistance only for the duration of the state’s emergency declaration; once the emergency declaration ends, states can only issue an additional sabbatical month of the emergency allowance. Per federal guidelines, these additional benefits will end after the expiration of the Arizona State of Emergency Declaration on March 30, 2022, and the April NA emergency allocation is the last emergency benefit to be issued by the Department of Homeland Security. Arizona Economic (DES).

For households that were receiving the maximum NA allowance for their household size, their monthly emergency allowance was an additional $95 in benefits. For those households that were not already receiving the maximum allowance for their household size, they were issued the full maximum amount of benefits for their household size. Eligible households received an average of just over $200 in emergency allowance benefits each month.

DES and its community partners have a variety of food assistance programs [des.az.gov] that can help support families in need. DES also offers a variety of assistance programs beyond hunger relief, including medical assistance, unemployment insurance, emergency rental assistance, child care assistance, and more.

AZ DES

See also  The U needs to do more for its non-traditional students - The Daily Utah Chronicle

For more information on additional food assistance programs available through DES, click here.

——-
Denelle Confair is a reporter for KGUN 9. Denelle is proud to call Southern Arizona home. It has been her dream to tell her stories for the past decade. She is extremely curious and wants to continue using her storytelling for the greater good.
Share your story ideas and hot topics with Denelle via email [email protected] or connecting in FacebookY Twitter.