Food assistance expanded during the pandemic. Advocates say more help is still needed

Interview with Adele LaTourette, director of Hunger Free New Jersey, as part of our ongoing series Hunger in New Jersey

Across the state a staggering number of residents are still struggling to put food on the table, a problem made worse by the pandemic. But starting in June, roughly 430,000 households who receive food assistance through the state Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (known as SNAP) are slated to get a bump in benefits.

The Department of Human Services is putting an extra $75 million into the program. Households already receiving the maximum SNAP benefit will be eligible for the temporary extra assistance, averaging about $95 per home. Advocates applaud the extra amount but say the state program is still falling short of meeting all those in need. A new report from Hunger Free New Jersey points out the barriers that remain for those applying to the program and it has a list of recommendations to bridge the gap.

 Support for “Hunger in NJ” has been provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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