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TRENTON - Human Services Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman April 27 announced the 426,000 New Jersey households who receive food assistance through the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (NJ SNAP) will receive $73.9 million in total extra benefits in May.

According to a release, Human Services has been providing NJ SNAP households with maximum benefits since March 2020, when the pandemic began. Under a change implemented in April by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), New Jersey households that were receiving that maximum available SNAP benefit are now also eligible for the temporary extra assistance.

A 15% increase in SNAP benefits also remains in effect through September.

With the upcoming May extra payments included, Human Services will have distributed $694.1 million in supplemental monthly SNAP payments to households since March 2020. As is typical, the NJ SNAP benefits will be directly uploaded onto recipients’ Families First EBT cards in early May, with benefit amounts based on household size with each household receiving at least $95 in extra emergency benefits.

“We’re committed to providing as much additional food security as possible to New Jersey families for as long as possible,” Adelman stated. “These additional food assistance benefits will, again, prove vital to many New Jersey households as this public health emergency continues.”

“We’re dedicated to helping as many families as we can as this challenging time continues,” Deputy Commissioner Elisa Neira stated. “We will continue taking advantage of all available resources to help New Jersey households afford groceries as much and for as long as we can.”

NJ SNAP provides food assistance to families with low incomes to help them buy groceries through a benefits 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.

The monthly supplemental payments are temporary and contingent upon month-to-month 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. 

A new USDA policy also puts in place a phase-out period that allows a state to provide supplemental allotments for the month following the expiration of the state’s public health emergency.

Individuals can visit njhelps.org to see if they’re eligible for SNAP and apply.

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