Food benefits increase to help hungry Minnesotans

MGN

Monthly 15% bump available January through June

At a time when economic relief is needed more than ever, Minnesotans on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other food assistance programs, who are currently receiving the maximum amount, will soon see a 15% increase in their monthly food benefits.

People receiving these benefits do not need to do anything additional to receive this increase.

Through the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act, Congress increased the maximum SNAP benefit amount by 15% for Jan. 1 through June 30, 2021. This means a family of four receiving the maximum benefit will receive $782, an increase of $102.

“This is a significant benefit to those struggling to eat healthy meals each day, particularly children, older adults, and people with disabilities who make up about 70% of those on SNAP,” Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead said. “We all know with proper nutrition, children learn more easily, adults work more productively and older adults are healthier and more apt to maintain their independence.”

In addition to administering the federally funded SNAP, Minnesota provides state-funded food benefits through the Minnesota Family Investment Program, which combines cash and food benefits. SNAP and MFIP participants receiving the maximum benefit for their household size will be eligible for the 15% increase if nothing in their household changes.

Minnesota county and tribal program eligibility staff will issue a supplemental payment to reflect the increase to food recipients who have already received their January payments. From February through June, the department will issue one payment monthly, reflecting the increase.

Food assistance is in high demand due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, so the Minnesota Department of Human Services and its partners have worked to increase food support and make it more accessible during this time. With rising unemployment and reduced hours, many households are facing increasingly tight budgets and struggling to afford food.

In Minnesota, the current average monthly SNAP benefit for each household member is $109, and the average SNAP benefit per person per meal is $1.22.

More information about SNAP and other hunger resources is available on the department’s COVID-19 emergency food support webpage, or via the Minnesota Food HelpLine, 1-888-711-1151 or www.mnfoodhelpline.org. Minnesotans can apply for SNAP online at ApplyMN or by phone, mail, fax, or drop boxes at county and tribal human service offices.

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