The Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) has changed its eligibility rules as of Oct. 1, expanding its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
At grocery stores, prices are soaring and across the state, many residents are in need of assistance. The Department of Social Services said help is on the way for roughly 44,000 more Connecticut residents through an expanded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
“This just happens to be the one step that the state can take to help those individuals in those situations to be able to, as I said before, provide themselves and their families with some healthy, nutritious and affordable foods,” said Dan Giacomi, Connecticut DSS program administration manager.
The program, also known as SNAP, helps supplement Connecticut families living below the poverty line.
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“People who really need it. I guess families, single moms with kids. They need it,” said Juan Quebedro of Hartford.
The program was previously available to those with a monthly gross income at or below 185% of the federal poverty level, but as of Oct. 1, residents at or below 200% will now be eligible for assistance.
“SNAP is the first line of defense against food insecurity. For every meal we can provide here at a food bank, SNAP can provide 10 meals,” said FoodShare President & CEO Jason Jakubowski.
The new policy also increases monthly food benefits by an average of 12.46%, according to the DSS, but some wonder how the increased assistance will be funded.
“Somebody has to pay. Nothing is really free,” Quebedro said.
According to the DSS, funding for this expanded coverage comes through resources already afforded by the federal government to areas the state had previously not explored.
“This was a policy that we saw having a positive change for a good number of individuals throughout the state with minimal changes required to implement and minimal cost to the state to be able to implement it,” Giacomi said.
Over 222,000 households are currently enrolled in SNAP. For more information about how to enroll, click here.