By: Follow South Jersey Staff
SOUTH JERSEY — As the NJ Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) federal emergency allotment from COVID-19 will expire at the end of February, beginning March 1, 2023, all households eligible for SNAP will begin receiving a minimum $50 monthly benefit.
In June, 2022, Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation to establish the State SNAP Minimum Benefit Program that ensured that SNAP recipients receive at least $50 per month in assistance when the federal emergency allotments end. New Jersey is the first state to set a minimum benefit, which required an $18 million investment of state funds.
The New Jersey Department of Human Services shares that the COVID‐19 pandemic, SNAP households have benefited from emergency allotments from the federal government, which provided households with higher monthly food assistance benefits and totaled more than $2 billion. Starting in March, SNAP households will only get their regular SNAP payment loaded to their EBT card.
“These payments were and continue to be a lifeline for many New Jersey residents and families as the pandemic greatly impacted finances across the board,” Commissioner Virginia Betteridge, liaison to the Camden County Board of Social Services, said in a press release from Camden County.
“Recognizing the challenges families continue to face affording healthy and nutritious food and groceries, New Jersey set a SNAP minimum benefit ensuring all SNAP recipients will receive at least $50 per month in assistance now that the federal emergency allotments are ending,” Gloucester County Board of Commissioners Director Frank J. DiMarco stated in a press release from Gloucester County.
Under the new minimum benefit program, if a SNAP household was approved for less than $50 in SNAP benefits ($23 is the minimum federal SNAP benefit), they will receive their regular monthly benefit plus an additional state supplement to bring them to $50. The NJ Department of Human Services will mail notices in February to all SNAP households advising them of the benefit reduction along with a reminder of their regular benefit amount resuming in March.
SNAP recipients worried about the overall reduction in benefits should check their eligibility for other food assistance programs including WIC for women and children under 5, free or reduced school meals or the commodity supplemental food program for older adults over 60 years of age. For more information about additional food resources, visit nj211.org/food‐programs‐and‐community‐resources or text your zip code to 898‐211.
As of November 2022, there were approximately 769,000 individuals enrolled in SNAP from 397,000 households.
SNAP recipients are encouraged to check their benefit detail online at www.njfamiliesfirst.com with the Connect EBT mobile app or by calling (800) 997-3333.
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