NJ Human Services Announces $37 Million in Additional Food Assistance

Many NJ SNAP Recipients Will Receive Enhanced Benefits; June Payments Will Bring Supplemental Food Assistance Payments to $143M Since March

May 28, 2020

(TRENTON) – Many New Jerseyans who receive food assistance through the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (NJ SNAP) will receive additional benefits in June to help address critical food needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

An additional $37 million will be provided to about 220,000 New Jersey households for June.

SNAP supplemental payments were included in the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Human Services has already provided $106 million in additional NJ SNAP benefits total in March, April and May to New Jerseyans to help purchase groceries. 

 “We continue to provide as much food assistance as possible to eligible New Jersey households for as long as we can during this challenging time,” Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson said. “This additional help will assist many families facing difficulties. And I also continue to thank our state’s Congressional delegation for protecting residents as we respond to this pandemic.”

The supplemental benefits will be directly loaded to NJ SNAP recipients’ Families First EBT cards as part of their regular monthly payment.

NJ SNAP provides food assistance to families with low incomes to help them buy groceries through a benefit card accepted in most food retail stores and farmer’s markets.  The program serves about 700,000 New Jerseyans in 356,000 households, with the monthly SNAP benefit based on household size and income.

Human Services this week also launched online grocery ordering for SNAP recipients through Amazon, ShopRites and Walmarts. Plans also call for adding The Fresh Grocers.

“These extra benefit payments are critical to many New Jersey households, especially older adults and individuals with disabilities,” Human Services Deputy Commissioner Elisa Neira said. “Access to additional food assistance is more important than ever, and we’re pleased to be able to provide this continued help.”

“During this difficult time, we encourage residents who need food assistance to visit and apply for SNAP online at www.NJHelps.org,” said Assistant Commissioner Natasha Johnson, who directs the Department of Human Services’ Division of Family Development and oversees the SNAP program. “The dedicated county Boards of Social Services staff - the folks who are the backbone of the SNAP program - have worked tirelessly through this public health crisis.”

Besides the supplemental benefit payments, Human Services also during June will provide about 600,000 children who normally receive free or reduced-price school meals with $416.10 each to help with nutritional support during the time that schools have been closed during the pandemic. Visit here for more information.

Human Services has also taken the following steps to help New Jerseyans access affordable food during the emergency:

  • Ensured that everyone whose benefits were up for renewal in March, April and May, or are due in June, were extended for six months, meaning that nobody’s SNAP benefits will be ended during these extensions for not completing the renewal.
  • Made it easier to apply for SNAP during this emergency by waiving the normally required interview and the hard copy signature on applications, so as to reduce the need for face-to-face interactions.
  • Updated our online system to make it easier for SNAP applicants to track their application.