To address the increasing food insecurity due to the coronavirus pandemic, United Way of King County has launched a program that makes sure that anyone who is entitled to Basic foods or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), are allowed to apply for a hunger-fighting benefit.
Many of the recent changes to the federal policies and state regulations have increased the eligibility and benefit level for hundreds of households across the state.
A family of four has a chance of receiving $600 which could then be used to buy necessary food from grocery markets, stores, and farmer’s markets. However, the amount that a family will receive will depend on a lot of other outcomes like income, housing size, and costs, etc.
This eligibility will also apply for families of mixed immigration status. Furthermore, the federal government abolished the “public charges” rule which allows the families that are on the list if pending visa applications to be eligible for this program as well.
Nelly Evans, the food security program coordinator at United Way of King County, has stated that not many people, especially college students, do not know how to apply for this program or at the very least have no idea whether they’re eligible or not.
“Basic Food is one of the best tools to combat poverty and hunger. It’s an incredibly valuable benefit that can boost economic activity in the community,” Evans said. “The program empowers families to choose where and how they purchase food, and what kind of food is best for them.”
If school-aged kids apply for this program, they automatically get enrolled for free school meals as well as Pandemic-EBT. Along with that, some women and infants can also apply for Women, Infants and Children Program, which includes additional benefits regarding food.
Because of the changed policies, greater than 50,000 community college and technical school students can now take part in this program, those students can also take part in the Basic Food and Employment Training program, education along with work training program that can assist with childcare subsidies, books, tuition assistance, and additional scholarships.