New Jerseyans who receive food assistance through the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are getting at least a 15% increase in benefits starting this month, with the minimum monthly SNAP benefit rising to $50.

The New Jersey Department of Human Services reports the increase was included in recently signed federal relief legislation designed to help those facing food needs related to the ongoing COVID pandemic.

According to DHS, the monthly supplemental payments are contingent upon month-to-month U.S. Department of Agriculture 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.

Benefits automatically added

The increased benefits are being directly loaded to NJ SNAP recipients’ Families First EBT cards as part of their regular monthly payments.

“For many months, folks have been faced with inflation and the rising cost of every day goods," Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, D-Middlesex, said. "The result: more of our neighbors are struggling to keep healthy and nutritious foods on their table. For many of them, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has been a lifeline.”

A wide angle view of an overflowing bag of groceries on a white background
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NJ SNAP provides food assistance to families with low incomes to help them buy groceries through a benefit card accepted in most food retail stores and farmer’s markets.

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The program serves about 791,000 New Jerseyans in about 406,000 households, with the monthly SNAP benefit based on household size and income. Residents can visit njhelps.org to see if they’re eligible for SNAP and apply.

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