HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) – In this Community Chat, WAVY Digital Desk Host Sarah Goode spoke with Virginia Peninsula Foodbank CEO Karen Joyner about what the end of emergency SNAP benefits means for the community and for the local food banks.

The community need has already grown in 2023. Joyner said the Foodbank saw a 30% increase in the month of January. Numbers are not back for February, but she expects to see a similar value. With the change in SNAP benefits, Joyner said Individuals and families in the community will rely more on local foodbanks, pantries, and distributions for food assistance each month.

According to Joyner, the people that will be most affected will be seniors, households with children, and those living with disabilities.

She adds while some people might not be chronically food insecure, many live paycheck to paycheck. With one extra car payment, an accident, or an emergency, people could face difficulties without this emergency allotment they have relied on for years.

Joyner wants people to know the Foodbank will take out more food to provide for the increased need. And, will be here in this extra time of need.

If you are in need or able to donate, visit the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank’s website here.