Kemp Makes It Harder for 777,000 Georgians to Afford Food

June 1, 2022

Today, nearly 777,000 Georgians will lose crucial support from emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits after Brian Kemp refused to renew the additional food aid. The increased SNAP support will drop to pre-pandemic levels as food banks continue to report heightened demand and as schools close for summer, which means kids who rely on school meals lose that access.

“From his actions to block a bipartisan plan to expand Medicaid for Georgians living with HIV, to his push to loosen our gun safety laws, and now his decision to cut off crucial food support for children, working families, and elderly and disabled folks — Brian Kemp has shown us he doesn’t care about Georgia families. As food banks continue to see increased need and sixteen percent of Georgia children face hunger on a daily basis, Kemp is sending a clear message that he could care less about the detrimental impact of his actions on Georgians’ nutrition, mental health, and ability to make ends meet,” stated Congresswoman Nikema Williams, Chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia.

Experts say Kemp’s decision to end the support, which comes as food banks are reporting “significantly elevated” need levels, will lead to a “very abrupt hunger cliff” and hit food-insecure families hard. SNAP helps 1.64 million Georgians — one in seven people who call the Peach State home. 

“Getting the maximum benefit amount of SNAP really, really helped us be able to get things caught up and try to stay ahead of the game,” said Brandy Roe, a working mother of five from Summerville who is concerned about the upcoming cuts. “We’ll do the best we can [when the food aid decreases next month]. If it comes down to that, we’ll eat lots of sandwiches.”

Georgia SNAP Participants:

  • Almost 73% are families with children.
  • Nearly 32% are families with members who are older adults or are disabled.
  • More than 39% are in working families.

Hunger in Georgia:

  • 13% of Georgians face food insecurity.
  • 16% of Georgia kids face food insecurity.
  • 8% of Georgia seniors face insecurity.

What Experts Are Saying:

  • “It was our preference that we find ways to extend the expanded, enhanced SNAP benefits in Georgia,” said Kyle Waide, President and CEO of Atlanta Community Food Bank. “These are complex issues…we work closely with partners in Washington on both sides of the political spectrum…everybody we work with believes that everybody should have enough food.”
  • “Even if it’s a 15 to 20% of a loss of your food budget, that’s a pretty big adjustment to make regardless of who you are,” said Jon West of Atlanta Community Food Bank. “And we know those folks have the least amount of margin within their budgets already. They’re already making challenging tradeoffs to make ends meet on a month-to-month basis.”
  • Georgia can expect “a very abrupt hunger cliff,” said Ellen Vollinger, SNAP director for the Food Research and Action Center. “It’s going to hit different households somewhat differently, but it’s going to hit them all and it’s going to [hit] them hard.” 
  • “This is going to cause a lot of additional strain for individuals and families,” said Ife Finch Floyd, senior economic justice policy analyst with the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute. “That may mean you’re buying less food because your other sources of income, your cash, might have to go to other things: rent, utilities, gas.”


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