Relief is on the way for families struggling to make ends meet and those who are worried about feeding their families in September. In fact, a recent study published by ABC 13 news, the study found the national average for groceries is $355.50 a month per person; however, the average cost in Virginia is only $298.01.
Once again, Virginia has been approved to distribute emergency allotment SNAP benefits in September 2022. The extra benefits will be deposited on EBT recipients' cards on September 16th, 2022. Approximately 445,000 Virginia households will receive extra food stamp benefits through SNAP in September.
SNAP the acronym for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) serves as the first line of defense against hunger for Virginia residents. It enables low-income families to buy nutritious food with coupons and Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards. SNAP recipients spend their benefits to buy eligible food in authorized retail food stores.
The FFCRA (Families First Coronavirus Response Act) SNAP Emergency Allotment Request requires states must provide an extension acknowledgment to their FNS Regional SNAP contact(s) for each month covered by this request.
This move is in response to rising Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases. The Food and Nutrition U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) website purports that their institution has granted waivers to several states, including Virginia, allowing for the issuance of emergency allotments (supplements) based on a public health emergency declaration by the Secretary of Health and Human Services under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act related to an outbreak of COVID-19 when a state has also issued an emergency or disaster declaration.
One of the stipulations that grant this extension is that "Residents of the State are confirmed to have contracted COVID-19." In addition to this, the FFCRA stipulates that the State’s residents have experienced economic impacts due to job suspensions or losses and the State’s emergency or disaster declaration remains active
The most recent Emergency Allotment (EA) Request lists an EA disbursement date of September 16, 2022. Additionally, the document estimates the number of households receiving emergency allotment benefits to be 445,000 Furthermore, the estimated amount of emergency allotment benefits issued per month is estimated at $83,000,000. Source: https://fns-prod.azureedge.us/sites/default/files/resource-files/VA-SNAP-COVID-EA-Extension-September-2022-Acknowledged.pdf
The Virginia government's website issues the following statement about the VDSS, which is the entity that controls the SNAP program:
"The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS), one of the Commonwealthʼs largest government agencies, is comprised of approximately 2,000 state staff who proudly serve alongside more than 10,000 employees of 120 local departments of social services and community action agencies to deliver critical social services to Virginiaʼs most vulnerable citizens. VDSS is committed to ensuring Virginians have access to the high-quality human services and resources needed to enhance their individual and collective well-being, and shape strong futures for themselves, their families and communities. The agency provides a wide range of services and resources in the areas of food and energy assistance, foster care and adoption, child support, and abuse and neglect prevention, among others. For more information, visit dss.virginia.gov."
Virginia residents, will you be using this benefit? Have you been able to afford your groceries without SNAP benefits? Let us know in the comments.