June 18, 2024


Outstanding health & fitness

Over 60% of SNAP recipients face barriers to healthy eating

Since Arkansas ended emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program supplements on June 30, eating healthy has only become more difficult for Tammy Benton and her family.

“We paid $7.05 for a gallon of milk the other day, just plain Jane milk,” Benton said. “… For people that have SNAP benefits, with the prices going up 30 to 50% on a lot of stuff … they can only get half of the amount of stuff, which means buying non-healthy.”

Arkansas provided supplemental benefits for families receiving SNAP, but these extra amounts expired due to Gov. Asa Hutchinson ending the state of emergency in May. This returned families to pre-pandemic benefit amounts, according to the Arkansas Department of Human Services.

The expiration of emergency benefits does not impact pandemic EBT that families with students will receive, according to the Arkansas Department of Human Services.

However, families like the Bentons continue to struggle as both food prices and COVID-19 cases increase in Arkansas.

A shopping cart being pushed down a grocery aisle.

Re-evaluating healthy eating on SNAP 

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program helps with a portion of a family’s food budget. Families enrolled in the program receive an EBT card, which functions like a debit card, allowing them to buy eligible food items.  

The amount of SNAP benefits a family receives is based on the Thrifty Food Plan, which determines the cost of a nutritious diet based on the size of a household.