TRENTON - New Jerseyans who receive food assistance through the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (NJ SNAP) will receive at least a 15% increase in benefits in January to help address food needs related to the ongoing Covid pandemic.
According to a release, a 15% increase in SNAP benefits was included in the recently signed federal relief legislation and will be in effect through June.
Human Services has also been providing SNAP households with the maximum benefits since March, when the pandemic began, and those supplements will be provided in January to about 269,000 households. The 15% increase is independent of the monthly SNAP supplements and will be given to every SNAP household, so all NJ SNAP recipients will get at least a 15% increase, depending on household size and income.
When January’s benefits are paid, Human Services will have distributed $443.4 million in total supplemental monthly SNAP payments since March to New Jersey residents.
The monthly supplemental payments are contingent upon the month-to-month U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approval. The USDA can approve supplemental SNAP payments for states, as long as the federal government has declared a public health emergency and the state has issued an emergency declaration.
“Providing as much food assistance as possible to eligible New Jersey households as this challenging public health and economic crisis continues remains a priority,” Human Services Deputy Commissioner Elisa Neira stated. “I, once again, thank our congressional delegation for working hard to protect residents. These additional food assistance benefits are as important as ever, and make a real difference to many New Jerseyans.”
The increased benefits will be directly loaded to NJ SNAP recipients’ Families First EBT cards, as part of their regular monthly payment.
NJ SNAP provides food assistance to families with low incomes to help them buy groceries through a benefit card accepted in most food retail stores and farmer’s markets. Families can also use their cards online through Amazon and participating locations of Aldi, Shoprite, The Fresh Grocer and Walmart.
NJ SNAP serves about 791,000 New Jerseyans in about 406,000 households, with the monthly SNAP benefit based on household size and income. Residents can visit njhelps.org to see if they’re eligible for SNAP and apply.