New Jersey residents who receive food assistance through the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) could see their monthly minimum benefits nearly double according to a recently introduced bill making its way through the New Jersey Legislature.
As recently reported by TLS, beginning in March, all households eligible for SNAP will begin receiving a minimum $50 monthly benefit following the end of federal SNAP emergency allotments in February.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, SNAP households have benefited from emergency allotments from the federal government, which provided households with higher monthly food assistance benefits.
However, the recently signed Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 ends SNAP emergency allotments on February 28, 2023.
This means that, by March 2023, benefits for all SNAP households in New Jersey will return to normal amounts.
But, under a new minimum benefit program signed into law by Governor Murphy, if a SNAP household was approved for less than $50 in SNAP benefits ($23 is the minimum federal SNAP benefit), they will receive their regular monthly benefit plus an additional state supplement to bring them to $50.
For example, if a single-person household was determined eligible for $23, they will receive their regular monthly benefit of $23 and an additional state supplement of $27 to bring them to $50.
Now, according to this new bill, SNAP recipients will see the minimum allowance be raised to $95 per month, similar to the minimum amount people were receiving during the pandemic.
The bill is scheduled for a floor vote in the Assembly later this week but still needs to be approved in the Senate before it can go to Governor Murphy’s desk for his signature.
As of November 2022, the latest month for which data is available, there were approximately 769,000 individuals enrolled in SNAP from 397,000 households.