The end of extra food aid will drive people to the ’emergency room to eat alone’ [Video]

With the pandemic suspension of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits, 30 million American families now struggle with food insecurity.

They lost an average of $95 per person in additional food aid, according to FarmboxRx CEO Ashley Tyrner, whose food delivery company makes high-quality farm-fresh fruits and vegetables more accessible .

“So they go to the emergency room just to eat,” Tyrner told Yahoo Finance Live (video above). “And that’s very common in our food deserts, especially in rural America.”

During the start of the pandemic in 2020, the government gave an additional $95 to $340 in SNAP benefits to recipients. Extra help was recently discontinued, but extra need has not for many recipients.

Grocery prices soared 10.2% year-on-year in February. Turner told Yahoo Finance Live that the U.S. Department of Agriculture ending SNAP benefits during the pandemic could lead to other health problems for low-income recipients.

“Inflation is at an all-time high. Grocery bills are at an all-time high. And this is not the time for the USDA to make this cut,” Tyrner said. “And it’s just going to have a trickle-down effect on other dollars that our government spends around Medicare and Medicaid, with health disparities being reduced through that system because of those cuts.”

(Photo credit: Getty Creative)


“So with this cut coming from the USDA, it’s going to affect the other government sector of CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) with people getting sicker, more chronic diseases going down the line of that and more unnecessary. ER supports,” Tyrner added.

Tyrner told Yahoo Finance about how FarmboxRX serves Medicare and Medicaid recipients, many of whom depend on additional food stamp benefits that were eliminated.

“We entered the healthcare space in 2020 when the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid changed regulations on foods and products that can be offered as a benefit to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries who have one of 15 chronic diseases,” Tyrner said. what we do is partner with health plans to provide food to those members to engage them in other quality outcomes.”

Tyrner says the company offers healthy foods as a type of medicine to provide preventative care. He says nutritious foods reduce health care costs that will hurt taxpayers in the long run.

Mother cutting food for little daughters as they have breakfast together at the dining room table

(Photo credit: Getty Creative)

“We really created nutrition as a medicine space within health care. There’s still a lot of work to be done, right? If you treat someone who has type 2 diabetes with better nutrition and better food, you’re going to change the chronic outcome that it has, which would reduce the costs of their claims, which is ultimately a burden on taxpayers,” Tyrner said.

Tyrner told Yahoo Finance that as a result of nutrition education combined with its meals, FarmboxRx encourages its customers to take more steps to be more proactive about their health.

“It’s really crazy that we’re engaging them with food, which can help prevent chronic disease, but we’re doing it to get them to take other preventative measures like mammograms, colonoscopies, eye exams for diabetes, etc.,” Tyrner said. “So that’s the only way we’ve been able to get the budget for a health plan is by showing that we can get members to do these other necessary exams.”

Ella Vincent is the personal finance reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @bookgirlchicago.

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Originally Posted