Biden’s increase in food stamp funding means $376M more for N.J. households

Posted Aug 17, 2021

The more than 700,000 New Jersey households now receiving aid under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the program formerly known as food stamps, will see an increase in benefits beginning Oct. 1.

That will mean an extra $36.24 per person per month, according to the state Department of Human Services.

The increased benefits “will improve the food security of many New Jersey children and families enrolled in NJ SNAP,” Acting Health Commissioner Sarah Adelman said. “Throughout the pandemic, we have worked hard to make sure families receive additional pandemic food benefits as quickly as possible and will continue to do so.”

Under the Biden administration, federal benefits will rise to $1.76 billion from $1.38 billion, a $376 million increase.

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 705,000 New Jersey residents, or 8% of the state population, receive SNAP benefits.

“This is a great start but we have a ways to go,” said Adele LaTourette, director of Hunger Free New Jersey. “This is not going to end hunger in our nation.”

The increase is separate from the temporary boost of $95 a month in SNAP benefits, which will last while the coronavirus pandemic emergency continues.

LaTourette said the pandemic highlighted the large number of New Jerseyans who don’t have enough to eat.

“This is something that the pandemic brought to light,” LaTourette said. “We saw it glaringly when we saw the lines to the food pantries.”

The increase is due to a new formula used to calculate how much recipients will receive, the first such boost in more than 45 years. That includes adding more fish and red and orange vegetables, the amount of calories needed, and new pricing data.

“Ensuring low-income families have access to a healthy diet helps prevent disease, supports children in the classroom, reduces health care costs, and more,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “And the additional money families will spend on groceries helps grow the food economy, creating thousands of new jobs along the way.”

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published this page in News and Politics 2021-08-18 03:20:06 -0700