400,000 Louisiana households got less money for food starting in March. How will they cope?

400,000 Louisiana households got less money for food starting in March. How will they cope?
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Charles Rousseau is a careful shopper. He has to be.

The 63-year old Alexandria resident lives on a fixed income: $1,420 per month in disability payments after a lifetime of working in the oil field and other manual-labor jobs. Rousseau checks prices, compares between stores and buys whatever he can at discount. Recent food price increases have taken their toll.

“Stores jacked the prices up,” he said, adding that one of his regular purchases, Vienna sausages, had nearly doubled in price, to almost $1 per can. Two-liter bottles of his favorite soda, Diet Dr. Pepper, had also gone up, he said. 

This month, Rousseau is being hit with a double whammy. The extra allotments of a federal food benefit through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, that were given out during the pandemic, ended at the end of February. That means SNAP recipients will return to the pre-pandemic levels.

For Rousseau, his benefit dropped from more than $200 per month to $23. 

Volunteers sort through bags of rice at Second Harvest Food Bank in Elmwood on Wednesday, March 8, 2023. (Staff photo by Chris Granger, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

“During the pandemic, was able to eat two or three meals a day,” he said, noting the rise in inflation and food costs. “Now, I am back to one meal a day and it might be a sandwich.”

At least $95

The SNAP program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but administered through Louisiana’s Department of Children and Family Services. During the pandemic, every SNAP recipient’s benefit went up by at least $95 per month. Some recipients got much larger increases, based on a number of factors including income and family size.

Now, however, those increases are going away. Rousseau and every single SNAP recipient in the state — approximately 418,000 households, reaching nearly 1 million people, per DCFS Secretary Terri Ricks — will feel it. The average recipient in Louisiana will see their benefit drop $164, officials have said. While the reduction officially started at the start of the month, some recipients won’t notice the reduction until they get their cards, Ricks told a legislative committee earlier this week.


About Mary Weyand 14483 Articles
Mary founded Scoop Tour with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research. With ample knowledge about the Automobile industry, she also contributes her knowledge for the Automobile section of the website.

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