NJ Human Services to Deliver Extra June Food Assistance Benefits to 430,000 Households
Nearly $770M in Extra NJ SNAP Food Assistance for NJ Households Since March 2020
May 25, 2021
(TRENTON) – Human Services Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman today announced the 430,000 New Jersey households who receive food assistance through the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (NJ SNAP) will receive $75.2 million in total extra benefits in June.
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 had already been receiving that maximum available SNAP benefit are also now also eligible for the temporary extra assistance.
A 15 percent increase in SNAP benefits also remains in effect through September.
With the upcoming June extra payments included, Human Services will have distributed $769.3 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 June, with benefit amounts based on household size with each household receiving at least $95 in extra emergency benefits.
“We continue to be committed to providing as much food security as we can to New Jersey families,” Acting Commissioner Adelman said. “Ensuring families in need of help get these additional food assistance benefits for as long as they remain available remains a priority.”
“We will continue to use all available resources to help New Jersey households afford groceries as much and for as long as we can,” Deputy Commissioner Elisa Neira said. “Many families continue to need help even as the public health metrics improve.”
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.
Human Services has taken several steps to help New Jerseyans access affordable food during the pandemic, including:
- Working with school officials to provide special food assistance benefits to New Jersey children who otherwise would have received free or reduced-price school meals if not for COVID-19 school closures.
- Launching the online grocery ordering for SNAP recipients.
- Ensuring that everyone whose benefits were up for renewal since March 2020 were extended for six months.
- Making it easier to apply for SNAP by waiving the normally required interview and the hard copy signature on applications to reduce the need for face-to-face interactions.
- Through a new online tool, available on NJOneApp, making it possible for SNAP applicants to upload the documentation needed for applications electronically instead of mailing or dropping off documents to the county enrollment offices.
- Updating the online system to make it easier for SNAP applicants to track their application.
- Developing a guide to educate immigrant families on what benefits are impacted by the federal public charge rule to combat misinformation
- Presenting in various virtual forums to update service providers on these critical changes to help get the word out to families in need of food assistance.