State to maximize August's 'Food Stamp' benefits

A waiver request made to the USDA and FNS by the Missouri Department of Social Services to extend food stamps and SNAP benefits throughout the month of August has been approved.

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The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) approved the Missouri Department of Social Services’ waiver request to extend Pandemic Food Stamp/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (P-SNAP) benefits through the month of August.

According to DSS, this means Missouri Food Stamp/SNAP households will automatically get the maximum Food Stamp/SNAP benefit amount for their household size loaded onto their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card.

P-SNAP, part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, enables Missouri SNAP households to receive the maximum Food Stamp/SNAP benefit amount for their household size during a state of emergency. As of June 30, there are reportedly 372,799 Missouri households or 773,079 individuals receive Food Stamp/SNAP benefits.

“I am very pleased Missourians will receive the maximum SNAP benefit for their household size during a month when families are buying needed items for the upcoming school year,” said Jennifer Tidball, acting director, Department of Social Services. “Those maximized SNAP benefits may allow families to spend their income on essential items their child needs for a successful return to the classroom, an important part of the ‘Show Me Strong’ Recovery Plan.”

The Missouri Services Navigator has information on over 2,800 programs and services available in the state. Missourians in need of information on Food Stamp, Medicaid, Child Care Subsidy, LIHEAP, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefit programs can visit dss.mo.gov. Services can be applied for 24/7 online by visiting MyDSS.mo.gov, or sending completed applications and verification documents by email to FSD.Documents@dss.mo.gov, or by fax to 573-526-9400.

Missourians who have questions not specific to an individual’s case can use the DSS Virtual Assistant to get immediate answers to basic questions 24 hours a day. Phone assistance is also available. Call 855-FSD-INFO or 855-373-4636 Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Missouri Department of Social Services has announced it is committed to the “Show Me Strong" Recovery Plan and serving the needs of Missouri citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic.

SkillUp and Missouri Work Assistance (MWA) are free programs available to all Food Stamp/SNAP and TA recipients that help low-income Missourians with career planning, overcoming challenges to work, as well as getting and keeping a job.

Information regarding the department’s response to the pandemic is available online https://dss.mo.gov/covid-19.

According to the Department of Social Services, its mission is "to empower Missourians to live safe, healthy, and productive lives." Visit dss.mo.gov to learn more about the Department of Social Services and follow it on Facebook and Twitter.

This article originally ran on dailyjournalonline.com.

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