By: Follow South Jersey Staff
SOUTH JERSEY — With the NJ Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) federal emergency allotment from COVID-19 set to expire at the end of February, Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill on February 8 to ensure every SNAP household in New Jersey will receive at least $95 in monthly benefits going forward.
The federal government began providing emergency allotments to SNAP households in March 2020 to offer a temporary boost in food assistance benefits to individuals and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. With these additional payments ending as of February 28, 2023, the new legislation will raise the minimum SNAP benefit in New Jersey to $95 starting March 1. This represents a $45 increase over the initial State minimum benefit of $50 put into place for SNAP recipients when Governor Murphy and the NJ Legislature established the State SNAP Minimum Benefit Program last year.
“As the federal government’s temporary boost to SNAP benefits comes to an end, we cannot ignore the significant impact this will have on households and communities throughout our state,” said Governor Murphy in a press release from his office. “No one should ever have to wonder where their next meal will come from. By implementing a minimum monthly SNAP benefit of $95 for all beneficiaries, New Jersey is leading the nation in ensuring families have the support they need to keep putting food on the table.”
If a New Jersey household is approved for less than $95 in monthly SNAP benefits, they will receive their regular federal benefit plus an additional State supplement to bring them to this new minimum. Although most households will still see some reduction in their benefits, implementing an increased minimum benefit will help soften the impact of the emergency allotments coming to an end.
“We know overwhelmingly that a better nourished and more food secure New Jersey makes for a stronger one,” said Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin. “This expansion safeguards the food security of 46,000 SNAP households, mostly vulnerable seniors and individuals with disabilities, whose health and wellbeing relies on keeping healthy and nutritious foods on their plate.”
Director of the Office of the Food Security Advocate, Mark Dinglasan said that food security exists only when everyone has the ability to purchase and full access to healthy food.
“As the needs of our communities continue to rise, I can confidently say that I stand here, shoulder to shoulder with these leaders of New Jersey, looking forward to our continued work in the many ongoing, multisector efforts taking place to expand food access,” Dinglasan said. “While we are proud that New Jersey is leading the nation in food security work, today is not the end of the work but just the beginning.”
SNAP recipients are encouraged to check their benefit detail any time online at www.njfamiliesfirst.com, with the Connect EBT mobile app, or by calling (800) 997-3333.
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