Senate moves to help New Jerseyans who rely on SNAP benefits

The $95 state SNAP minimum legislation now heads to the Governor’s desk

TRENTON, N.J. – Today the State Senate voted in favor of A5086/S3491, legislation that would increase the minimum monthly benefit under the State SNAP Minimum Benefits Program from $50 to $95 per household. This legislation, sponsored by Speaker Craig Coughlin and Senator Ruiz, would ensure that 46,000 low-income households are more financially equipped to keep food on their tables.

“The end of SNAP emergency allotments is going to leave many New Jerseyans in crisis, losing federal benefits that they have depended on for the past three years,” said Lisa Pitz, Director of Hunger Free New Jersey. “Thankfully, the New Jersey Legislature has a plan to support these families and create a safety net for those struggling in our state.”

Federal benefits like SNAP can be a lifeline, but the maximized benefits families have been getting since March 2020 are ending in March 2023 because of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023. Families who have depended on these maximized or emergency allotments will see a significant decrease in SNAP benefits, losing an average of about $190 per household in monthly benefits. Nearly 770,000 New Jersey residents rely on SNAP benefits to put food on their tables. This loss of maximized SNAP benefits will disproportionately affect seniors and people with disabilities, who are more likely to receive the minimum federal benefit.

“By supporting this $95 minimum monthly SNAP benefit, we can help our struggling New Jersey neighbors to put more fresh, healthy food on their table, reducing hunger and food insecurity and providing a better quality of life for our residents,” said Pitz.

As food prices continue to soar, the loss of maximized SNAP benefits will also have a dramatic impact on New Jersey’s economy. Over the course of the pandemic, over $3 billion in federal SNAP dollars have been spent in grocery stores and farmers markets across the state. The end of SNAP Emergency Allotments will result in a loss of about $75 million federal dollars per month to NJ’s economy.

Under this bill, State funds will be used to supplement base SNAP benefits that are provided by the federal government, raising the minimum monthly SNAP benefit to $95 per household. Last year, Governor Murphy signed legislation to establish a $50 SNAP minimum benefit, the highest state SNAP monthly benefit in the nation.

This bill now heads to the Governor’s desk to be signed. Hunger Free New Jersey thanks our legislators for introducing and passing this critical legislation.

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