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Multiple expansions to food assistance programs in Delaware

Delaware Public Media

Delaware is once again expanding SNAP benefits in an ongoing effort to address food insecurity during the pandemic. This comes alongside a federal move to feed kids this summer. 

The state announced Tuesday all Delaware households eligible for SNAP benefits will receive at least $95 in emergency food benefits each month for as long as the COVID-19 crisis continues. Previously those receiving the maximum benefits were excluded from the extra benefits while others received less than $95 a month.

This comes as a result of President Biden’s Jan. 22 executive order for COVID relief.

Officials say the extra funds will be available on EBT cards this week. They will go to just under 53,000 Delaware households for a total of about $10 million in benefits for the month. 

“So it really will help them to meet the extra costs,” said Delaware’s SNAP Policy Senior Administrator Marcella Spady. “Prices are going up, that’s a big factor and really just helping them to put food on the table.” 

This comes as the USDA announces it’s also extending its P-EBT program into the summer. That adds benefits to EBT cards for families with kids missing free meals they normally would get at school, but have not been because of remote learning during to the pandemic. The USDA estimates it will reach more than 30 million children nationally.

“It definitely will help these families and it definitely puts them in a better position as far as meeting their nutritional needs,” Spady said of the local impact.       

For this school year, about 81,000 children attending state schools were eligible to receive P-EBT benefits.

Additionally, those receiving benefits from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and General Assistance programs will also receive additional cash benefits. Those checks will be issued as early as Wednesday to roughly 170 households totaling about $23,400 in emergency cash for the month.

State officials say in addition to the emergency benefits, households will receive their regular benefits for April on the usual issuance dates.

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