Assembly Democrats Continue Fight for Food Security, Advancing Bills to Bolster Critical Food Safety Nets
|Assembly Democrats Continue Fight for Food Security, Advancing Bills to Bolster Critical Food Safety Nets
Measures to Ease Registration, Boost Outreach & Expand Nutrition Benefits
(TRENTON) – A new report from the Food Research Action Center found in 2020, one in every 12 New Jersey households experienced food insecurity.
On Thursday, the Assembly Appropriations Committee approved eight bills sponsored by several Assembly Democrats. Part of a larger legislative package, including the “Working Families’ Anti-Hunger Act”, the bills advanced are geared toward bolstering critical food safety nets: the Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) formerly known as food stamps, school meal programs, and the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program.
With reports of lagging SNAP enrollment at only around 70 percent, many are not receiving the benefits they are entitled to and are missing out on crucial nutrition support. To help reach more children, families, workers, and seniors, among the bills moved were:
In 2021, SNAP benefits put food on the table for 815,000 New Jersey residents, including more than 360,000 children. Improving the program for current and future recipients, the committee also advanced the following bills:
To help meet the nutritional needs of seniors and those with health conditions requiring specific nutrient-rich foods, which are often more expensive, the committee approved:
One of the major challenges with assistance programs is getting eligible participants to sign up. To help ensure families are armed with the information about school meal programs their child can enroll in, the following bill was advanced:
This package builds on the success of initiatives championed by Assembly Democrats last session making it easier to register for SNAP, including measures that created a mobile application for residents to register for and track SNAP benefits, register for SNAP by phone, and provided for shorter registration forms for seniors and the ability for cross enrollment between SNAP and Medicaid.
The bills now go to the Speaker for further consideration.