FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 28, 2020
USDA approves Department of Social Services’ waiver request extending Food Stamp increase through May
JEFFERSON CITY, MO – The Department of Social Services has received waiver approval from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to extend Pandemic Food Stamp/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (P-SNAP) benefits through the month of May 2020. This extension of P-SNAP benefits enables Missouri SNAP households to continue to receive the maximum Food Stamp/SNAP benefit amount for their household size. P-SNAP is part of the Families First Act and Missouri Food Stamp/SNAP benefit households automatically get the maximum benefit for their household size on the normal date their benefit is loaded onto their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. Food Stamp/SNAP maximum household benefit amounts are available online. As of March 31, 2020, 311,401 Missouri households or 660,628 individuals receive Food Stamp/SNAP benefits.
“COVID-19 continues to impact low-income Missourians the hardest,” said Jennifer Tidball, Acting Director, Department of Social Services. “Many Food Stamp/SNAP households now have even less money coming in which means receiving the maximum Food Stamp benefit may be the only way to keep food on the table. The Department of Social Services is doing all that we can to ensure low-income Missourians have access to good nutrition which is especially important during COVID-19.”
The Department of Social Services will continue to announce updates regarding Food Stamp/SNAP changes due to COVID-19.
The USDA, FNS approved and is currently working with the Department of Social Services to establish Food Stamp/SNAP Online Purchasing that will allow Missourians receiving Food Stamp/SNAP benefits to use their EBT card to purchase eligible food through online retailers, Amazon and Walmart. The start date is yet to be announced; DSS anticipates it may be implemented sometime during the month of May. Food Stamp/SNAP Online Purchasing will become a permanent option for Missourians.
The Department of Social Services also continues to work with the USDA, FNS to establish Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) card benefits for families with children eligible to receive free and reduced price meals to help cover the cost of meals students now eat at home. P-EBT is a part of the Families First Act. DSS will announce when P-EBT card benefits become available and will share details on how households that do not receive Food Stamp/SNAP benefits can apply for the P-EBT benefit. Families that receive Food Stamp/SNAP benefits automatically get the benefit added to their EBT card.
Missourians who have questions can call 855-FSD-INFO or 855-373-4636 Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The Missouri Services Navigator has information on over 2,000 programs and services available in the state. Missourians in need of information on Food Stamp, Medicaid, Child Care Subsidy, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefit programs can visit dss.mo.gov. Missourians can also apply for those services 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.
The Department of Social Services is committed to serving the needs of Missouri citizens during COVID-19 pandemic. Information regarding the department’s response to the pandemic is available online https://dss.mo.gov/covid-19.
The mission of the Department of Social Services 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 us on Facebook and Twitter.