New Relief Bill: What this means for food access in Nebraska

SNAPA new pandemic relief bill was signed into law with new opportunities for families in need to access food in Nebraska on December 27. There’s a lot to celebrate, but we know more would be welcome by folks hit hard by the pandemic. Here’s what you need to know:

Through June 2021, SNAP benefits will be increased by 15%

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program gives low income families critical resources to help pay for groceries. This change provides additional assistance for Nebraskans and will automatically be applied to existing allotments.

Additional unemployment benefits will no longer count as SNAP income

The new law provides $300 in additional unemployment insurance payments to support individuals struggling to find work. The law states that these additional payments will no longer be counted as income for SNAP eligibility. Lost or reduced SNAP benefits should no longer happen because of additional unemployment benefits because of this change.

SNAP eligibility has been expanded for college students

SNAP will now be available for college students eligible for work study or with a $0 family contribution on their FAFSA. Additional guidance is forthcoming on eligibility for this expanded benefit.

Food banks across the country are receiving $400 million in additional funds

With food banks supporting unprecedented numbers of clients, these funds will help ensure that they can keep providing people with the critical resources they need to feed their families. An additional $175 million has been given to organizations that help feed seniors, including Meals on Wheels.

These new policies support food insecure families across our state. Federal and state agencies are working to operationalize the new laws but we are hopeful they will be up and running by February, 2021.

If you think you may be eligible for SNAP, call the Food Bank’s SNAP Outreach Hotline at 855-444-5556 to get assistance applying for this program. They are happy to help!

Call the Hotline

If you have any questions about this new law, contact Megan at mhamann@neappleseed.org. Take care and Happy New Year!

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