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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Emergency federal benefits ending after February

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — Emergency allotments, initiated by Covid-19, for social services will come to an end this month.

Food and Nutrition Services benefits temporarily increased in 2020 with additional financial resources provided to families and individuals. Beginning in March, residents will no longer receive monthly FNS emergency allotments; the federal government is ceasing the excess funds nationwide.

In March 2020, Congress passed a law providing supplemental funding to households taking advantage of FNS benefits. It’s purpose was to navigate financial hardships and assist with food-related purchases.

Monthly payments will return to the amount received prior to the pandemic based on household size, income, and other eligibility requirements.

“For more than 15,000 households in our community, FNS benefits are crucial to filling the gaps in their monthly food budget,” New Hanover County Social Services Director Tonya Jackson said in a press release. “We know how appreciative people were for the emergency allotments over the last several years and people have come to rely on that extra amount. So, we know that for many it will be difficult to adjust to reduced benefits.”

For those that might need continued assistance, New Hanover County Social Services will connect individuals and families with community partners offering resources to meet nutritional needs. Social Services has created a resource list with information on partners, such as food banks and outreach organizations.

New Hanover County Social Services has worked to communicate with all of its FNS beneficiaries to ensure they are aware of this change in benefits, through text, email and phone calls.

Residents currently receiving FNS benefits can review their monthly allotments online.

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