State extends, increases food stamp benefits during pandemic

1 week 4 days 17 hours ago Wednesday, March 25 2020 Mar 25, 2020 Wednesday, March 25, 2020 9:21:01 AM CDT March 25, 2020 in News
By: Madison McVan, Columbia MIssourian

COLUMBIA —Families receiving SNAP benefits will not have to renew their certifications during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Missouri Department of Social Services Family Services Division announced in a news release Tuesday.

For families who are due for SNAP recertification in March, April or May, benefits will be automatically extended for six months, the release said.

The department is also waiving work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents until the end of the COVID-19 federal emergency declaration.

SNAP recipients will receive the maximum benefits for their household size in April, the news release said. Households of three will get $509 and households of four will get $646.

“No Missourian will have their Food Stamp benefits end for the present time, and they do not need to take any actions to ensure their benefits will continue,” Gov. Mike Parson said in the release.

Families with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch in Missouri schools that have closed for at least five days will receive a Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card benefit for the value of the missed school meals.

The aid will be automatically applied to the SNAP recipient’s EBT card and will impact more than 50 percent of Missouri public school students, according to the release.

The monetary value of the meals will be determined by the federal government.

The Department of Social Services is working with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to reach out to households that qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, but not SNAP, to enroll them in the Pandemic EBT card program.

Those in need of assistance can apply for benefits and find more information at MyDSS.mo.gov.

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