Federal relief includes increased food stamp benefits

Published: Apr. 20, 2020 at 5:41 PM EDT
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Many Vermont households that rely on food stamps will get higher benefits in April and May.

3Squares Vermont is part of the federal coronavirus relief bill. It won't permanently change a household's monthly benefit. Households already getting maximum 3Squares benefits won't get an increase.

Eligible households will automatically get their benefits the same way they normally do -- through an EBT card.

The bump in federal assistance comes at a critical time. Food insecurity in Vermont has increased by a one-third during the coronavirus pandemic,

The survey found that food insecurity was up from 18.3% to 24.3% and that 45% of those surveyed had lost their jobs, been furloughed or had hours cut. Two-thirds of insecure Vermonters experienced job losses or work disruptions since the pandemic started.

Researchers say less than 30% of respondents who experienced food insecurity participated in food assistance programs.