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Increases to SNAP Benefits Would Offset Higher Food Costs and Boost the Economy

July 30, 2020 Common Cents
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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides critical nutritional aid to individuals and families with low incomes, including those who have faced income losses. As Granite Staters continue to navigate the COVID-19 crisis, aiding those who are most affected and who have the fewest resources will help ensure they weather the crisis while supporting the economic recovery as well. Federal policy actions so far have provided temporary emergency SNAP allotments to recipients, along with extended nutritional benefits to certain children due to school closures, temporarily easing certain redetermination criteria, among other changes. Despite these actions, additional benefits may be needed as more impacts of the COVID-19 crisis become known, and as other supports expire or are discontinued. Additional SNAP benefits would help support Granite Staters who are experiencing food insecurity while providing a boost to the economy.

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Pandemic EBT Food Assistance Program Applications Open through August 24

July 21, 2020 Common Cents
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The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program allows for families with students, who haven’t been able to physically attend school, to receive additional nutritional benefits if the student was eligible to receive free or reduced-price school meals. These benefits are equal to the value of the free or reduced-price meals the student would have received if schools weren’t closed during the Spring. Depending on the eligibility of the student for free and reduced-price meals, or eligibility of the student’s family for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) before the COVID-19 crisis began, enrollment in this program may not be automatic. As of July 21, 2020, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) estimates potentially 17,000 students in New Hampshire are eligible for P-EBT benefits but have not been automatically enrolled or applied for benefits. The parents or guardians of these students need to apply via NH Easy by August 24, 2020, after obtaining a verification of eligibility from their school district, in order to receive their P-EBT benefits.

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Legislature Finishes Historic Session, Sends Omnibus Bills to Governor’s Desk

July 10, 2020 Common Cents
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With an abbreviated timeline that prevented further deliberation, the Legislature combined legislation left on the agenda since March and sent both single-issue and omnibus bills to Governor Sununu. The Senate compiled both bills originating in the Senate and the House into larger bill packages, and the House’s schedule only permitted concurrence or rejection of bills relayed to it by the Senate, rather than an amendment process through Committees of Conference. The result was a series of bills covering a wide variety of topics, including future COVID-19 vaccines, expanded dental benefits for Medicaid recipients, raising the minimum wage, unemployment compensation for COVID-19-related reasons, paid family and medical leave, protections for renters behind on payments during the pandemic, telehealth services, New Hampshire Employment Security’s computer systems, and importation of prescription drugs from Canada.

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Increases to SNAP Benefits Would Offset Higher Food Costs and Boost the Economy

30 Jul 2020

tree with coins

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides critical nutritional aid to individuals and families with low incomes, including those who have faced income losses. As Granite Staters continue to navigate the COVID-19 crisis, aiding those who are most affected and who have the fewest resources will help ensure they weather the crisis while supporting the economic recovery as well. Federal policy actions so far have provided temporary emergency SNAP allotments to recipients, along with extended nutritional benefits to certain children due to school closures, temporarily easing certain redetermination criteria, among other changes. Despite these actions, additional benefits may be needed as more impacts of the COVID-19 crisis become known, and as other supports expire or are discontinued. Additional SNAP benefits would help support Granite Staters who are experiencing food insecurity while providing a boost to the economy.

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