DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The emergency boost to SNAP benefits that started during the pandemic is ending soon, now agencies are preparing to help the families who will be left with less food assistance.

“At The Foodbank, we’re always prepared preparing for crisis, whether that be tornadoes, whether that be COVID, whether that be hurricanes across the United States,” The Foodbank Chief Development Officer Lee Lauren Truesdale said.

Now The Foodbank in Dayton is gearing up to provide emergency assistance in case the need increases.

“We anticipate we will see some increase, but this time of year is traditionally a very busy time for us anyways,” Truesdale said.

The temporary boost to benefits, called “emergency allotments,” that started during the pandemic will end on March 1. The emergency allotments allowed families to receive the maximum payment for their household size.

“SNAP is a very important and effective anti-hunger program, and it’s a critical safety net for children, working families, seniors and more,” Makell Baccus, social program manager with the Family Assistance Division at the Montgomery County Department of Job and Family Services, said.

In Montgomery County, more than 75,000 people rely on SNAP benefits to supplement their food budget.

The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services are already notifying clients of this change.

“What we want clients to do is make sure that we have their contact information up to date in our self-service portal,” Baccus said. “Our self-service portal is also a one-stop shop where they can apply for benefits or make changes.”

ODJFS is working with food banks across Ohio ahead of an anticipated increase in emergency food needs.

The Foodbank in Dayton is ready to do just that, provide assistance to people who find themselves making the choice between feeding their families and paying their bills.

“We’re this emergency service, and so use the funds that you have to purchase other food items that we maybe don’t have in stock, or that our agencies don’t have in stock, or use that to pay your house bill, or to pay your apartment bill or to pay your car payment,” Truesdale said.

If you do receive SNAP benefits, your allotment will return to your regular monthly payment. Officials said if you receive SNAP and Social Security, you could see a decrease because of the cost-of-living increase.