Created: July 06, 2020 06:22 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - According to the New Mexico Human Services Department, about 168,000 New Mexico families whose children receive free or reduced-price lunch at school will receive $67 million in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, or food stamps.
“Food insecurity is something that should never be ignored in New Mexico,” said Karmela Martinez, director of the state’s Income Support Division.
“It's amazing to know that New Mexico took advantage of this opportunity with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to be able to afford these benefits and additional benefits,” she said.
The benefits will be issued on Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer cards in the name of the oldest child in each household and mailed out this week.
"This provides assistance to families with children who are eligible for free or reduced lunches, but they're not receiving them now due to the school closures of the pandemic,” said Martinez.
According to HSD, each student will receive $399 in nutritional assistance.
The new program is being funded by the federal government with money approved by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
The P-EBT card will work like a normal EBT and can be used to purchase food from places like grocery stores.
In New Mexico, more than 250,000 students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals.
The state said 87,000 New Mexico school children have already received nearly $35 million in food benefits that were issued in May.
The rest was supposed to be issued in June but it took time to verify everyone’s address.
Martinez said the remaining cards will get shipped out later this week.
The Human Services Department has two hotlines for individuals to inquire about the status of their P-EBT benefits. The P-EBT Hotline is 505-660-4822, or they can call the Human Services Department Customer Service Center at 1-800-283-4465.
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