When it comes to buying groceries, every penny counts for North Carolina’s low-income families. That’s why many people in the state are wondering, will NC get extra food stamps in December? If you’re dependent on these benefits to put food on the table, you know how tough it can be to make ends meet. For some, any additional funds can make a world of difference.
Well, the answer is yes – but there’s more to know. The US Department of Agriculture recently announced a nationwide increase in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for the month of December. This also includes North Carolina, where nearly a million households rely on SNAP to purchase food. But why is this increase happening and how much of a boost can residents expect? These are important questions to consider as we head into the holiday season.
COVID-19 Impact on Food Stamp Distribution in NC
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the economy, and many families in North Carolina have been struggling to put food on their tables as a result. The state government has implemented several initiatives to provide relief to those in need, including the distribution of extra food stamps.
- As of November 2020, North Carolina was authorized to issue emergency allotments to eligible households to help them buy food during the pandemic.
- The extra benefits are based on the maximum allotment for a household’s size, and they will continue to be distributed until the end of the federal emergency declaration for COVID-19.
- Households that already receive the maximum allotment will not receive additional emergency benefits.
In addition to the emergency allotments, the state government also extended the certification period for households receiving food stamps. This means that eligible households do not need to renew their certification until at least February 28, 2021.
The table below shows the maximum allotment amounts for households in North Carolina:
|Household size||Maximum allotment|
|Each additional member||$153|
It is important to note that the availability of extra food stamp benefits in December and beyond will depend on the federal government’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, the state government of North Carolina is committed to providing support to families in need during this challenging time.
NC Food Stamp Eligibility Requirements
Food stamps, also known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is a federal assistance program designed to provide food-purchasing assistance to low-income households. In North Carolina, the program is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Division of Social Services (DSS). North Carolina residents who meet the following eligibility requirements can receive food stamps:
- Residency: You must be a resident of North Carolina
- Income: To qualify for food stamps, your household income must be at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty level. As of 2021, the monthly gross income limit for a household of one is $1,383, while the limit for a household of four is $2,839.
- Assets: Your household must have assets worth less than $2,250, or $3,500 if a member of the household is disabled or is 60 years or older. Assets include cash, savings, and investments.
- Work Requirements: Able-bodied adults aged 18 to 49 without dependents must work at least 80 hours per month or participate in a qualifying work or training program to remain eligible for food stamps. Exceptions apply for those who are pregnant, have a disability, or are caring for a child under the age of six.
To apply for food stamps in North Carolina, you can apply online through the NC ePass portal or visit your local Division of Social Services office. You will need to provide proof of income, residency, and assets, as well as other information about your household. The application process typically takes up to 30 days, after which you will receive an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card to purchase food.
Monthly Benefit Amounts
The amount of food stamps a household is eligible for is based on the household size, income, and expenses. The maximum monthly benefit amount for a household of one in North Carolina is $204, while the maximum for a household of four is $680. These benefit amounts may increase if there are changes in federal guidelines or if there are special circumstances, such as a natural disaster.
|Household Size||Maximum Monthly Benefit|
Overall, food stamps can be a crucial support system for those in need of assistance. With the eligibility requirements in mind, be sure to apply for SNAP benefits if you believe you meet the criteria and need assistance with food purchases.
Federal government COVID-19 relief programs that include food assistance
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread economic hardship, particularly for low-income families who struggle to afford basic necessities such as food. As a result, the federal government has introduced several relief programs to help alleviate this burden, including food assistance programs. Let’s take a closer look at some of the programs available to provide food assistance.
Food Assistance Programs
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – This program, also known as food stamps, provides eligible low-income individuals and families with an EBT card that can be used to purchase food at participating retailers.
- School Meal Programs – The USDA has provided waivers to allow schools to offer free meals to all students regardless of family income during the pandemic. This includes the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP).
- The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) – This program provides emergency food assistance to low-income households through partnerships with food banks and other organizations that distribute food to those in need.
Will NC Get Extra Food Stamps in December?
The federal government has announced that they will be providing an emergency benefit increase for SNAP recipients to help support families during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is an additional benefit on top of the regular SNAP amount that a recipient would receive.
The amount of the increase will vary depending on household size. For example, a family of four would receive an additional $146 per month for December 2021. The increase will be distributed to recipients automatically on their EBT card and does not require any additional application or paperwork.
|Household Size||Emergency Benefit Increase Amount|
This emergency benefit increase is currently only authorized for December 2021, but there is potential for it to be extended in the future based on the COVID-19 pandemic and the related economic impacts. SNAP recipients in North Carolina and across the country can expect to see these emergency benefits on their EBT card in the coming weeks.
Impact of COVID-19 on food insecurity in NC
COVID-19 has caused significant disruption to the economy, with many businesses shutting down and people losing their jobs. This economic disruption has led to an unprecedented increase in food insecurity across the country. North Carolina has not been immune to this trend and has faced many challenges in ensuring that all its residents have access to sufficient and nutritious food.
- According to recent reports, nearly 1 in 5 families in North Carolina struggled with hunger even before the pandemic hit. With COVID-19, the numbers have grown even higher.
- The pandemic has also disproportionately impacted communities of color, who were already experiencing higher levels of food insecurity.
- In NC, school closures have resulted in nearly 40% of students losing access to free or reduced lunches.
In response to these challenges, North Carolina has taken a number of steps to ensure that residents have sufficient access to food.
The state has collaborated with local agencies to distribute food to North Carolinians in need, and has also increased funding for certain programs. This includes:
|Food and Nutrition Services (FNS)||Increased by $1 Billion|
|Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)||$6.2 Million in Emergency Funding|
|Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)||$500,000 in Additional Funding for NC|
In conclusion, COVID-19 has had a profound impact on food insecurity in North Carolina. However, the state has taken significant measures to mitigate this impact by providing increased funding for important programs like Food and Nutrition Services and Emergency Food Assistance.
Changes to food stamp distribution during the pandemic
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, there have been several changes to the way food stamps are distributed in order to better support those in need. Here are five key changes:
- Increased benefits: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act authorized emergency allotments to households receiving SNAP benefits, bringing them up to the maximum benefit amount for their household size. This was done to ensure households had enough resources to buy the food they needed during the pandemic.
- Suspension of work requirements: Many states suspended work requirements for SNAP participants during the pandemic due to economic hardship and safety concerns. This allows more people to receive food stamp benefits when they need them most.
- Online shopping: The USDA approved certain retailers to accept SNAP benefits for online grocery orders, allowing greater access to food for those who are unable to shop in person due to health concerns or lack of transportation.
- Extended certification periods: Many states extended certification periods for SNAP benefits so that recipients would not have to reapply for benefits during the pandemic, minimizing in-person contact and reducing administrative burden during a time of crisis.
- Emergency allotments: In addition to the emergency allotments mentioned above, some states have received approval to distribute additional emergency allotments to households based on need. This further increases the amount of food assistance available to those in need.
Will NC get extra food stamps in December?
While there is no official announcement yet, it is possible that North Carolina could receive additional food stamp benefits in December. This would come in the form of emergency allotments discussed earlier, and would be dependent on various factors such as available funding and need within the state. It is worth noting that emergency allotments have been approved for previous months throughout the pandemic, so it is likely that this trend will continue as needed.
Food stamp distribution by state
Each state has its own unique systems for distributing food stamp benefits. Below is a table showcasing the percentage of eligible individuals who received SNAP benefits in each state during the 2019 fiscal year:
|State||Percent Eligible Individuals Receiving SNAP Benefits|
It is important to note that these numbers can fluctuate based on a variety of factors, including changes to the economy and eligibility criteria for food stamp benefits.
Food Stamp fraud and abuse prevention measures in NC
North Carolina has been working to prevent food stamp fraud and abuse by implementing various measures. One of the main reasons for these measures is to ensure that only eligible individuals and households receive assistance and to help maintain the integrity of the program.
- Photo IDs: The state now requires photo identification for all Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) applicants and recipients. The purpose of this measure is to prevent fraud and abuse by ensuring that the person receiving benefits is actually the person they claim to be.
- Data Analytics: The state has implemented a data analytics system that checks for potential fraud by analyzing a recipient’s electronic benefits transfer (EBT) transaction history. The system can detect suspicious activity, such as frequent transactions at liquor stores or casinos, and flags them for further investigation.
- Fraud Investigation Unit: The state has also established a specialized fraud investigation unit within the Department of Health and Human Services. The unit is responsible for investigating suspicious activity and taking appropriate action, such as disqualifying individuals who have committed fraud from receiving future benefits.
In addition to these measures, North Carolina has also taken steps to streamline the application and recertification process, making it easier for eligible households to receive assistance. These measures include online applications and recertification forms, automatic recertification for eligible households, and the use of electronic signatures to expedite the process.
Overall, these measures represent North Carolina’s commitment toward ensuring that the Food and Nutrition Services program is used appropriately and efficiently, helping to provide much-needed assistance to those who truly need it.
While it is unclear whether North Carolina will receive extra food stamps in December, the state has taken significant steps to prevent fraud and abuse within the program. These measures include the use of photo IDs, data analytics, and a specialized fraud investigation unit, and have helped to maintain the integrity of the program.
|Photo IDs||To prevent fraud and abuse by ensuring that the person receiving benefits is actually the person they claim to be.|
|Data Analytics||To detect suspicious activity, such as frequent transactions at liquor stores or casinos, and flag them for further investigation.|
|Fraud Investigation Unit||To investigate suspicious activity and take appropriate action, such as disqualifying individuals who have committed fraud from receiving future benefits.|
North Carolina will continue to work toward ensuring that the Food and Nutrition Services program is used appropriately and efficiently, providing assistance to those who truly need it.
Programs that help people transition off of food stamps
While food stamps provide temporary support to those in need, there are also programs available to help people transition off of assistance and become financially self-sufficient.
- SNAP Employment and Training Program: This program provides education and job training to SNAP participants to help them find and keep employment. It offers individualized assistance, such as job search support and resume building, as well as access to training programs and other resources.
- Healthy Opportunities for Work (HOW) Program: Designed for SNAP recipients with disabilities, this program offers employment training services and resources to help them become self-sufficient. Services include job placement assistance, vocational training, and support for obtaining necessary accommodations in the workplace.
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): TANF provides financial assistance and supportive services to low-income families with dependent children. Participants are required to create a plan outlining how they will become self-sufficient, which may involve education or job training programs.
In addition to these programs, some states offer bonuses or incentives for individuals who transition off of food stamps successfully. For example, Florida offers a $100 bonus to participants who successfully exit the program, and Maine offers a $5,000 tax credit to businesses that hire individuals who have recently stopped receiving food stamps.
It is important for individuals to take advantage of these programs and resources to help them become financially independent and free from the need for food stamps. With hard work and determination, it is possible to transition off of assistance and achieve financial stability.
|SNAP Employment and Training Program||Provides education and job training to SNAP participants to help them find and keep employment.|
|Healthy Opportunities for Work (HOW) Program||Offers employment training services and resources to SNAP recipients with disabilities to help them become self-sufficient.|
|Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)||Provides financial assistance and supportive services to low-income families with dependent children to help them become self-sufficient.|
By taking advantage of these programs and resources, individuals can move toward financial independence and a stable future.
Advocacy Groups Working to End Hunger in NC
In North Carolina, several advocacy groups are dedicated to ending hunger in the state. Here are some of the most prominent groups:
- The North Carolina Association of Feeding America Food Banks: This organization is a network of seven food banks across the state that provide food to over 800,000 North Carolinians each year.
- Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina: This food bank serves 34 counties in the eastern half of the state and distributes food to over 700 partner agencies, including food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters.
- Inter-Faith Food Shuttle: This organization focuses on providing low-income families with healthy, fresh food by rescuing perishable food that would otherwise go to waste and delivering it to those in need.
These advocacy groups work tirelessly to address the root causes of hunger in North Carolina, including poverty, unemployment, and lack of access to affordable healthy food. They also raise awareness of the issue of hunger and food insecurity in the state and advocate for policies that support those in need.
One example of their advocacy work is supporting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides essential food assistance to millions of low-income families across the country. In North Carolina, these groups have pushed for policies that make it easier for families to apply for and receive SNAP benefits, such as extending certification periods and raising the gross-income eligibility limits.
To support the work of these advocacy groups, you can donate money, volunteer your time, or contact your elected officials to urge them to support policies that address hunger and food insecurity in North Carolina.
Racial Disparities in Food Stamp Distribution and Usage
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought financial hardship to many Americans, leading to an increase in food insecurity and reliance on government assistance programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps. However, the distribution and usage of food stamps have been shown to have racial disparities.
According to a report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Black households are more likely to experience food insecurity than their white counterparts, with a 2018 survey finding that 21.2% of Black households had experienced food insecurity compared to 8.1% of white households. Despite this higher need, Black households are less likely to receive food stamp benefits. The report found that in 2018, only 59% of eligible Black households were enrolled in SNAP, compared to 73% of eligible white households.
- One reason for this disparity could be the history of systemic racism and discrimination in the United States that has made it harder for Black families to accumulate generational wealth, leading to more financial insecurity.
- Another reason could be the way the program is structured. Food stamp benefits are based on income, and Black households are more likely to have lower incomes due to systemic racism and discrimination in employment and education, making them less likely to be eligible for the program.
- In addition, there have been instances of racial bias in the administration of the program, including discrimination in eligibility determination and unequal treatment of Black and white recipients.
To address these racial disparities in food stamp distribution and usage, advocates are pushing for policy changes such as expanding the eligibility requirements and removing barriers to enrollment, increasing funding for outreach efforts, and implementing anti-discrimination training for program administrators.
|Group||Food Insecurity Rate||Enrollment Rate|
Racial disparities in food stamp distribution and usage are a pressing issue that needs to be addressed to ensure that all Americans have access to adequate food. By implementing policy changes and addressing systemic racism, we can create a more equal and just society where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.
The History of Food Stamp Programs in the United States and North Carolina
The first food stamp program in the United States was established in 1939 in Rochester, New York. The program was intended to provide surplus food supplies to low-income families and individuals during times of economic hardship. This program expanded during the 1960s and became a permanent part of the federal welfare system in 1964 with the passing of the Food Stamp Act.
The Food Stamp Act of 1964 created a national program that was administratively managed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The program provided low-income individuals and families with an EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card to purchase food at participating retailers. This program was renamed the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in 2008.
- North Carolina’s involvement in the food stamp program began in 1965.
- In 2019, more than 1.3 million North Carolinians participated in SNAP, with an average monthly benefit of $126 per person.
- The COVID-19 pandemic led to a significant increase in food stamp participation in North Carolina, with over 1.6 million individuals participating in the program as of August 2020.
North Carolina was also the first state to implement the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) after Hurricane Florence in 2018. D-SNAP provides temporary food assistance benefits for eligible disaster victims who do not already receive SNAP benefits.
|Year||North Carolina Food Stamp Program Participants|
In conclusion, the history of food stamp programs in the United States and North Carolina has evolved significantly since its inception in 1939. The program has provided vital assistance to millions of low-income individuals and families. North Carolina has been a crucial participant in the program, with increasing participation numbers over the years. And, with the recent challenges presented by natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic, the program has proven to be essential in providing temporary relief to those who need it most.
FAQs About Will NC Get Extra Food Stamps in December
1. Will North Carolina get extra food stamps in December?
There is currently no information indicating that North Carolina will receive extra food stamps in December.
2. Will the federal government provide extra SNAP benefits in December 2021?
At this time, there is no official announcement regarding the provision of additional SNAP benefits in December of 2021.
3. Are the food stamps in North Carolina enough to cover the needs of the people?
The food stamp benefit amount varies depending on the household income, size, and monthly expenses. It may not be enough for some households, while sufficient for others.
4. How can I apply for food stamps in North Carolina?
You can apply for food stamps in North Carolina online, by mail, or in person at your local Division of Social Services office.
5. How long does it take to get food stamps in North Carolina?
The processing time for a food stamp application in North Carolina can vary. Some applications are processed in as little as seven days, while others may take 30 days or more.
6. Can I use food stamps to buy prepared food in North Carolina?
Food stamps or SNAP benefits cannot be used to purchase prepared food items that are meant for immediate consumption. Food stamp benefits may be used to buy groceries and uncooked meal ingredients.
7. Can I use food stamps to buy pet food in North Carolina?
No, food stamp or SNAP benefits cannot be used to buy pet food in North Carolina.
Closing Thoughts: Thanks for Reading
We hope this article has answered some of your questions about the possibility of extra food stamps in North Carolina for December. While no official announcement has been made, we suggest keeping an eye on government updates and visiting your local Division of Social Services office for further assistance. Thanks for reading, and come back soon for more helpful information.