CONNECTICUT, USA — More than 17,000 additional households are now eligible for food assistance in the state after Gov. Ned Lamont announced an expansion of benefits beginning in October.
The new eligibility benefit for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) began on Oct. 1.
Under the new eligibility benefit levels, Connecticut residents will qualify for SNAP if their monthly gross income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty level.
This is an increase from the most recent eligibility benefit level of 185% of the federal poverty level, Lamont's administration said.
According to the administration and officials, the new increase will result in around 44,000 residents in 17,600 households becoming eligible for the program.
Additionally, current enrollees will receive more than a 12% increase in their monthly benefits from the program's annual cost of living adjustment.
Lamont said that expanding the eligibility will help these households access quality, nutritious food in the state.
“By continuing our partnership with the federal government, actions like this will help in our efforts to combat hunger and food insecurity," said Lamont.
Department of Social Services (DDS) Commissioner Deidre S. Gifford said that SNAP enrollees automatically become eligible for other services, ranging from Head Start to winter heating assistance.
“Simply put, qualifying for SNAP will help more Connecticut parents support their children’s health and education in other ways,” Gifford said. “This is because families enrolled in SNAP are automatically eligible for Head Start, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, and National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. It’s also important to point out that SNAP enrollees of all ages are also automatically eligible for the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program."
Connecticut’s move to expand SNAP eligibility comes at the same time as last week's White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health – the first such conference since 1969 – and the release of a national strategy with actions the federal government will take to help end hunger and increase healthy eating and physical activity by 2030.
SNAP enrollees are issued electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards, which work like a debit card and are replenished for every month of eligibility. The cards can be used at participating food markets and grocery stores, convenience stores, farmers' markets, and online at many retailers for food items approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service.
DSS recommends that SNAP enrollees change their EBT PINs each month to prevent benefits from being stolen due to illegal scams or skimming operations.
Learn about the new eligibility requirements along with viewing application and program information here.
Jennifer Glatz is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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