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Families across the country are struggling to put food on the table as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a devastating toll on employment and the economy. No one should have to worry about whether they can afford to feed their families.

Today, I want to provide you with some information on food security resources and updates to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits in New Jersey.

Ordering Groceries Online with SNAP

Beginning next week, New Jerseyans on SNAP will be able to shop for groceries online from Amazon starting May 27 and participating Walmarts, ShopRites and The Fresh Grocers starting on May 28. Once operational, online purchasing will be available in 36 states and the District of Columbia, home to more than 90% of SNAP participants.

South Jersey Updates

Norcross places a box of fresh food into a residents car during an event with Touch New Jersey Food Alliance

Yesterday morning, I joined Touch New Jersey Food Alliance to deliver and distribute more than 1,200 boxes of food for families in need.

Earlier this week, I joined Camden County officials in providing an update on COVID-19, including the path forward to reopening and congressional action. To watch our virtual town hall, click here.

For additional food assistance resources both federally and in South Jersey, click here.

The Heroes Act

Last Friday, the House of Representatives passed the Heroes Act, a relief package that supports essential workers, families and local businesses, and fights the virus through increased testing and contact tracing. In addition, it addresses hunger in America, which has always been a challenge for our country and has been made drastically worse due to COVID-19.

Surveys show that 1 in 5 mothers of children under 12 say that their children are not getting enough food during the COVID-19 crisis – three times the rate during the depths of the Great Recession. SNAP has been a cornerstone in the fight against hunger and a pathway out of poverty for decades. Now, it is an essential part of the fight against the COVID-19.

The Heroes Act addresses hunger, including by:

  • Increasing the maximum SNAP benefit by 15 percent;
  • Nearly doubling the minimum SNAP benefit to $30 per month;
  • Securing $3 billion for school children who do not have access to food due to COVID-19 school closures, building on the $8.8 billion secured in the CARES Act, and extending those benefits through the summer;
  • Providing $1.1 billion for low-income pregnant women and mothers with young children to access nutritious foods through the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program, following the $500 million secured in the CARES Act;
  • Adding $150 million in food banks, for a total of $1 billion provided by Congress, to help local food banks meet the dramatically increased demand for food during this public health emergency; and
  • Bolstering additional nutrition initiatives, including for seniors struggling with hunger and states facing increasing demand for SNAP benefits.

Additional Resources

  • The New Jersey Government has a COVID-19 website with live updates and resources here.
  • All residents with questions or concerns about COVID-19 and resources available to them can call 2-1-1. NJ 211 is New Jersey’s statewide, comprehensive, information and referral service operated by United Ways of New Jersey.
  • Residents call also text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive text information and stay informed. To receive live text assistance, residents can text their zip code to 898-211.
  • The Center for Disease Control has a resource page here.
  • My office has a resource page here.
  • Make sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter, and visit my website for updates.
  • To receive updates from my office, sign up here.

It is an honor to serve this community and we will get through this, together.

Donald Norcross
Member of Congress