A new bill is heading to the desk of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. If passed, this law would boost the SNAP benefits of thousands of residents who will lose pandemic-era food assistance by the end of this month.
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NJ SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is the nation’s most important anti-hunger program. The federal government pays for the cost of SNAP benefits and splits the cost of administering the program with individual states.
Since 2020, eligible households have received a temporary boost to their monthly SNAP benefits. SNAP emergency allotments are set to expire at the end of February, as previously reported by GOBankingRates, and New Jersey recipients will see their monthly payments drop to as low as $50.
According to nonprofit advocacy group Hunger Free New Jersey, New Jersey households who depend on SNAP emergency allotments will lose an average of $190 per household in monthly benefits, Patch reported.
“Nearly 770,000 New Jersey residents rely on SNAP benefits to put food on their tables,” the group writes. “This loss of maximized SNAP benefits will disproportionately affect seniors and people with disabilities, who are more likely to receive the minimum federal benefit.”
Under proposed law S-3491, state funds would raise the federal minimum from $50 to $95 per SNAP-eligible household, per Patch.
The New Jersey Monitor noted that this bill would require the Department of Human Services, which is the agency responsible for administering SNAP benefits in New Jersey, to pay for benefits using available federal aid before using state funds.
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New Jersey Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex), the bill’s main Assembly sponsor, said the increased minimum would keep SNAP benefits level for about 46,000 households, added the New Jersey Monitor.
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