Indiana families to receive more benefits to cover meal costs

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration announced two major changes for families receiving SNAP benefits, and they go into effect in May. One of them brings more help to cover meal costs, the other an option to have groceries delivered.

Dr. Jennifer Sullivan unveiled details of the programs during Monday’s news conference with Governor Holcomb. The first issues pandemic EBT benefits to those households receiving help from SNAP and non-SNAP homes too. Those eligible households must have one or more school-aged child who receive free or reduced-rate meals at school, but have lost access to this food due to COVID-19 school closures.

“For households receiving SNAP benefits, the additional benefits will be added to their existing EBT cards,” Sullivan said. “Households not currently receiving SNAP benefits will receive a new Pandemic EBT card in the mail with benefits already added. You don’t have to do anything to receive these new benefits.”

Sullivan also released details about SNAP Delivery. This will allow those receiving SNAP benefits to use delivery services to bring food to them.

“Allowing individuals who have high risk or a barrier with transportation access to safely receive their food,” Sullivan explained. “We have already authorized curbside pickup for SNAP, and this additional program is a welcome advancement that will continue permanently after the public health emergency.”

Michael Howe is the CEO of CAFE, or Community Alliance of the Far East Side. As he helped load food boxes into neighbors’ vehicles, he said expansion of SNAP benefits will greatly help people in his neighborhood.

“There’s transportation issues and lots of families with small children,” Howe said. “So getting out, getting to the grocery store, keeping their kids safe, expanding the SNAP is a great idea to help those families continue to access food.”

CAFE is finding several ways to help their neighbors, including meals, access to information, help with finding jobs, and help with emergency relief funding.

Indy Parks is also helping to meet the critical need of providing families with meals. Since mid-March, they have provided over 36,000 meals. Please visit www.facebook.com/IndyParksFoodPrograms for information on dates, times and locations for meals.

Last summer, they offered food at 120 locations. They are still working on finalizing plans for this summer.

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