Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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Emergency SNAP Extra Benefits Will End; NJ Assemblyman Pushing to Increase NJ’s Minimum SNAP Benefit

The last day to get emergency SNAP Extra Benefits is February 2023. As a result, beginning on March 1, SNAP beneficiaries will resume receiving their regular benefit. The minimum SNAP benefit each month is currently $50.

That amount was upped to $95 by NJ Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin (D-19th Dist.), who feels that doing so will help the state’s most impoverished families put food on the table.

As a part of the Assembly Speaker’s ongoing anti-hunger programs, Coughlin’s bill (A5086) would nearly increase the minimum monthly payments for lower-income SNAP members.

Coughlin stated, “This is a chance for New Jersey to make a strong statement that we will continue to lead the country in combating food poverty and make a difference in so many lives.”

The state Assembly’s Human Services Committee unanimously endorsed his plan on January 19, and the whole Assembly is set to vote on it on Thursday, January 26.

The minimum SNAP payout in New Jersey has already increased from the standard federal $23 limit to $50 earlier this month. Coughlin’s measure will now boost that level further; it is the first state to set its minimum.

Last week, Coughlin testified before an Assembly committee that “rising need, amid growing inflation, means that $50 a month is just not going to cut it.” His bill would guarantee a minimum floor of $95 for New Jersey residents, resulting in “more families who will be more financially equipped to keep food on their tables.”

Residents may purchase things from grocery stores, bodegas, and farmer’s markets with SNAP, which “many of us take for granted.”

Emergency SNAP Extra Benefits Will End; NJ Assemblyman Pushing to Increase NJ's Minimum SNAP Benefit

It allows them to do so with dignity while giving them access to healthy, fresh meals, according to Coughlin. In a video posted to Twitter, he makes these remarks.

Since the coronavirus outbreak started, families participating in SNAP have received an additional $45 per month from the federal government as a result of Congress’ approval of 2020 emergency supplements. The federal minimum SNAP payout would drop to a pitiful $23 without the additional state assistance. On Tuesday, February 28, the government’s pandemic supplement expires.

Coughlin called that “a huge step backward,” and he said that his bill would keep SNAP recipients from having their monthly benefits cut sharply and out of the blue.

His bill would benefit the 46,000 families and individuals in need in New Jersey. According to state data, nearly 769,000 people were receiving SNAP benefits from 397,000 New Jersey families as of December 2022.

Online or by phone at (800) 997-3333, SNAP users can check their benefits. Visit the state’s Human Services website to determine your SNAP eligibility.

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