HEADLINES

Connecticut’s SNAP-eligible households to receive additional emergency food benefits August 18

The Connecticut Department of Social Services today announced that it will deliver $32.1 million in Emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to over 209,100 Connecticut households on Wednesday, August 18, 2021.

Monthly allocations of emergency SNAP benefits are going to all enrolled households, based on continuance of a declared public health emergency related to COVID-19 in Connecticut.

Authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020, this federal allocation will provide a minimum of $95 in extra food aid to all enrolled families and individuals, raising the state’s total emergency SNAP funding to over $405.3 million since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Specifically:

  • All 209,100 SNAP-eligible households statewide will receive the emergency benefits on their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards on August 18, 2021.
  • Households already eligible for the maximum monthly SNAP benefit will receive an extra $95.
  • The remaining households that don’t usually qualify for the maximum monthly SNAP benefit because of income or other factors will receive extra benefits of at least $95 but averaging an estimated $151 (depending on their specific benefit situation).
  • With this additional $32.1 million allocation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, emergency benefits are totaling over $405.3 million in additional SNAP assistance statewide over 16 months, with commensurate spending at supermarkets, groceries, farmers markets, and other food retailers.
  • The $95 increase results from President Biden’s January 22, 2021, executive order, which requires the USDA to consider new guidance allowing states to increase SNAP emergency benefit allocations for all households, including those previously ineligible to receive it. This increase is expected to be ongoing.
  • All households also received their normal SNAP benefits, including the previously announced 15% increase from the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, on one of the first three days of the month as they normally do, according to last name.
  • If a household is granted regular SNAP benefits on or after Monday August 16, the additional SNAP benefits will be added to the EBT card on a Friday, depending on the date of granting.

For additional information about SNAP, visit www.ct.gov/snap.

Next distribution of ‘Pandemic EBT’ food benefits going to 193,000 schoolchildren on August 22

The Connecticut Department of Social Services, in collaboration with the Connecticut State Department of Education, today announced that $61 million in special food assistance benefits will be distributed Sunday, August 22, 2021, to the families of more than 193,000 schoolchildren who are enrolled in the free or reduced-price meals program and who receive services from the Department of Social Services.

This is the first distribution in the second round of food benefits that will go to a total of approximately 271,480 schoolchildren through the federal Pandemic EBT: Children in School program. This distribution of Pandemic EBT provides SNAP benefits to families of children who were learning remotely for at least part of month during the period of February 2021 through the end of the school year. An additional distribution for children who do not receive services from DSS is anticipated in September.

Specifically:

  • The Department of Social Services is issuing benefits to the households of 193,000 children  currently enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Family Assistance (TFA), or HUSKY Health/Medicaid. The department will deposit Pandemic EBT food benefits onto the existing EBT accounts on August 22, 2021. For families in this benefit distribution that did not qualify for benefits in round one, new EBT cards will be mailed on August 20, 2021, and will arrive with instructions on how to activate them and access the food benefits.
  • Benefits may differ from student to student and depend on the learning model the child was in each month, with an average benefit amount estimated at $316 per child.
  • Benefits can be used at any location that accepts SNAP/EBT cards. This includes famers markets and direct market farms. In fact, enrollees can double the value of Pandemic EBT or other SNAP benefits at farmers’ markets participating in CT Fresh Match. (More information on that program can be found at www.endhungerct.org/services/farmers-markets.) Pandemic EBT participants will also have online access to eligible food purchases through delivery or curbside pickup at participating retailers Amazon, Aldi and Price Chopper/Market 32 via Instacart, BJ’s Wholesale Clubs, Food Bazaar, ShopRite, and Walmart. For more information, visit www.ct.gov/snap.

With this distribution of $61 million by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Services, Pandemic EBT/Children in School and Pandemic EBT/Child Care benefits are now totaling $248.7 million in food assistance to more than 330,000 children statewide, with commensurate spending at supermarkets, groceries, farmers markets, and other food retailers. Many of the children receive multiple distributions.

Families do not need to apply for Pandemic EBT benefits, as the Department of Social Services and the State Department of Education use attendance information provided by schools to determine if children are eligible for the special food assistance.

The Department of Social Services and the State Department of Education are partnering to implement the P-EBT plan, which was approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service. The Pandemic EBT SNAP funding for children who participate in the free or reduced-price meals program was authorized by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, with additional amendments made in the Continuing Appropriations Act and Other Extensions Act of 2021, as well as the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

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