Help available for nutrition program recipients
Help is available for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients who saw two changes in their benefits amounts during October and November 2013.
On October 1, benefits increased slightly for some SNAP recipients to reflect the costs of living. On November 1, most recipients saw their benefits decrease due to the end of the extra benefits provided by the federal government during the recession.
“With the expiration of this one-time increase in benefits, we want to let Minnesotans know about other non-financial resources available to supplement their food budgets,” said human services commissioner Lucinda Jesson.
The amount of SNAP benefits each eligible household receives depends on a variety of factors, such as income, household size and household expenses.
On November 1, a family of four with no income and no other changes to their case might have seen a decrease in monthly benefits by approximately $36.
Help is available for SNAP recipients:
● Minnesota Food Helpline, 1-888-711-1151, operated by Hunger Solutions Minnesota, in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Human Services, can help explain the recent SNAP benefits changes and help callers locate a food shelf or other food assistance near their home.
● MinnesotaHelp.info provides a listing of emergency food resources around the state for those in immediate need.
● A pamphlet from the U.S. Department of Agriculture contains tips on how to stretch food dollars through budgeting, food selection and low-cost recipes.
● The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition website offers tips on budget shopping, choosing healthy foods and maximizing benefit spending power.
● The Minnesota Department of Human Services SNAP outreach website answers common questions about SNAP and connects recipients with outreach partners across the state.
“We encourage families and individuals who are struggling to contact the Minnesota Food Helpline,” Jesson said. “With one call, staff at the Helpline can assess their situation and provide suggestions on how to meet their needs.”
More information on the change in cost-of-living adjustments, SNAP and resources for low-income Minnesotans who could be affected by the change in benefits can be found at mn.gov/dhs.