AARP SC asks Governor McMaster to reconsider lifting State of Emergency

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– A group that represents many seniors in South Carolina is asking the governor to reconsider lifting the State of Emergency. AARP of South Carolina Director Teresa Arnold released a statement Monday, asking the governor not to lift the declaration because of the effect it will have on those still struggling from the economic impact of the pandemic.

“AARP South Carolina is concerned about Governor McMaster’s decision to lift the COVID-19 state of emergency order that has been in place since March 2020. Lifting the emergency order also removes emergency SNAP benefits for over 300,000 South Carolinian households still suffering from the economic impact of the pandemic. South Carolina will lose over $52 million a month in federal funds allocated for SNAP benefits and typical older recipients will lose significant benefits leaving them with about $4 a day per household to help meet their essential nutritional needs. This decision could have a devastating health and economic impact on older low-income South Carolinians, who account for about 44% of households receiving SNAP. Many of these folks already routinely have to decide whether to pay for food or overpriced prescription drugs. We ask that Governor McMaster please reconsider his decision,” said Arnold.

In response to the statement, a spokesperson for the governor’s office said the emergency SNAP benefit program was never meant to be a permanent fixture. The governor is confident that the normal, pre-pandemic SNAP program is the best way to move forward for South Carolina.

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