A lot is happening at the state and federal level regarding food policy.
There’s the possibility that SNAP/EBT could be used to buy hot/prepared foods and that WIC could be used at farmers’ markets. There’s internet access programs for those receiving SNAP benefits and the future of SNAP Emergency Allotments granted during the pandemic.
Read on for more details on each!
SNAP Emergency Allotments
- What is it?
- Over the pandemic, those receiving SNAP benefits saw an increase in their total benefit amount thanks to waivers in place allowing the disbursement of Emergency Allotments (EAs) due to the public health emergency declaration by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
- What’s happening with it?
- Currently, these waivers have been extended until the end of June in New Hampshire, but there is no news on if they will continue past then. The end of these EAs would mean a drastic decrease in the monthly benefit amount participants are receiving on their EBT cards— an amount many people have become dependent on to put food on their tables.
- Where can I learn more about it? Learn more about this here.
Affordable Connectivity Program
- What is it? $65 million dollars to increase broadband access across the country was included in a recent bipartisan infrastructure law. SNAP participants are among the population eligible to receive $30 towards internet service monthly. Individuals within the eligible population can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 on a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet.
- What’s happening with it? Enrollment in the program is underway!
- Where can I learn more about it? Learn more about the program and whether or not you qualify here.
SNAP Plus Act of 2021 (H.R. 6338)
- What is it? This bill proposes changing the current SNAP infrastructure, which prohibits the purchase of hot and/or prepared foods with SNAP. At the farmers’ market, this includes hot or ready to eat foods and ready to drink ice tea or coffee. This legislation proposes making these items eligible for purchase for those with SNAP benefits.
- What’s happening with it? This is in the proposal phase currently. It has been referred to the Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight, and Department Operations and the next step will be to pass in the House. To follow the movement of this proposal, visit here.
- Where can I learn more about it? Read more about this proposed legislation here.
Senate Bill 404: PASSED
- What is it? This bill requires the state of New Hampshire to file a state SNAP outreach plan annually. An outreach plan has not been in effect in New Hampshire since 2017. NH is 39th in overall SNAP enrollment of eligible populations out of all the states in the United States.
- What’s happening with it? It passed! A request for applications has been released for a contractor to carry out the work and those are due next month. The work will start in October.
- Where can I learn more about it? To learn more about this bill and any other New Hampshire specific legislation related to food access and insecurity, make sure to follow New Hampshire Hunger Solutions on their social media or via their website.
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program
- What is it? This program would enable WIC recipients to utilize benefits to purchase eligible foods at their local farmers’ market. This is a previously run program but it has not existed in New Hampshire since 2010.
- What’s happening with it? This legislation has currently stalled. The original bill was added on to another bill as a non-germane amendment, however the bill it was added to was tabled due to unrelated amendments. However, there is a possibility for it to be written into the next State budget.
- Where can I learn more? Learn more via NH Hunger Solutions here.
If you are curious how a bill becomes law, please visit here.
For more information on using SNAP/EBT at our Farmers’ Markets, please visit here.