Missouri Begins Distributing 2022 Summer Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Benefits
Last week, Missouri finally started distributing its 2022 summer Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to families. This comes a year after the payments were originally scheduled to go out.
For months, thousands of Missouri families have been eagerly awaiting these benefits, which were intended to provide much-needed support in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The promised benefits are part of a federal pandemic relief program that is distributed by states.
Helping Children Access Nutritious Meals
The primary purpose of these funds is to help cover the cost of food for children during the summer months. Many of these children typically rely on free or discounted meals provided by schools. The benefits consist of a one-time payment of $391 for each eligible child. In 2023, the payment will be reduced to $120 per eligible child. Families can access these funds through an electronic benefits transfer debit card, similar to regular food stamps.
As of June 7, approximately 172,000 students have already received their benefits. This accounts for more than half of the estimated 270,000 children who are expected to receive these funds. However, some children have not yet received their benefits due to missing information on their application forms. Officials are actively working to resolve these issues and ensure that all eligible children receive the support they need.
Additionally, there are families who have not received their benefits because they are still waiting for the debit cards on which the funds are loaded. According to a spokesperson from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, these cards are expected to be issued by Monday, July 17.
Looking Ahead to 2023
States, including Missouri, have until July 14 to submit their plans for the 2023 summer benefits. It is currently unclear when the $120 payments for next year will be sent out, as Missouri has not yet filed its plan. However, states are required to distribute the 2023 summer funds by September 30, 2023.
It is important to note that this summer’s distributions will mark the end of the federally funded program. However, some states may choose to use their own funds to continue supporting low-income families.
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