New Mexico providing additional food benefits amid COVID-19

Las Cruces News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – New Mexico families will be receiving over $97 million in food benefits which will be enough to feed approximately 245,000 vulnerable children.

According to a release, the New Mexico Human Services Department and the Public Education Department submitted the request jointly to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards are used like debit cards to buy groceries. Pandemic-EBT assistance will be deposited directly to existing EBT cards for families already receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits, a release said.

New Mexico households with children who receive free or reduced-price meals will receive benefits of $5.70 per child, per day for the 70-day period from March 16, 2020 when public schools were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, through June 19, 2020.

According to a release, March, April, and May benefits will be issued in mid to late May, and Pandemic-EBT benefits will continue to be issued through June 19, the average date of normal public school closures.

The program will also benefit families that did not previously qualify for free or reduced-price meals but may now qualify due to changes in their household’s circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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