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South Carolina families receiving added food assistance from the federal government due to the coronavirus pandemic will see those benefits drop in August after Gov. Henry McMaster on Monday announced his decision to not extend the state of emergency order.

Roughly 295,000 households, representing about 610,000 people who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (S.N.A.P.) benefits, will lose about $177 per month on average allocated by the state Department of Social Services (DSS). The exact amount varies based on household size and income.

McMaster asked South Carolina residents to still heed health protocols and take the virus seriously after ending the emergency order. He told reporters his decision would not impact federal aid coming to the state.

McMaster’s decision makes the Palmetto State one of a handful of states no longer under a state of emergency due to COVID-19. Currently, about 39% of S.C. adults are fully vaccinated, well below the national average of 53%.

Emergency aid will continue through June, and DSS said it would ask the federal government to run relief through July as a “transition month,” according to a statement by director Michael Leach.


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