NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) benefits were temporarily increased with additional financial resources, known as emergency allotments, provided to individuals and families.
Beginning in March, residents will no longer receive monthly FNS emergency allotments, due to changes at the federal level ending these additional benefits nationwide. Monthly FNS payments will return to the amount received prior to the pandemic based on household size, income, and other eligibility requirements.
In March of 2020, Congress passed a law to provide supplemental funding to households taking part in the FNS program to help individuals navigate financial hardships related to the pandemic and assist with food-related purchases. A new law has ended these nationwide benefits, and the last month families will receive emergency allotments will be February 2023.
“For more than 15,000 households in our community, FNS benefits are crucial to filling the gaps in their monthly food budget,” said New Hanover County Social Services Director Tonya Jackson. “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. We’re so grateful to have community partners ready and willing to assist those in need.”
To help those who might need continued additional assistance, New Hanover County Social Services is working to connect individuals and families with community partners who are offering resources to meet nutritional needs.
To help families in New Hanover County understand additional resources that might be available, Social Services has put together a resource list with information on community partners, like food banks and other outreach organizations, who can provide assistance.
“Our community partners have come together with a goal to help our residents, and to work together to meet the food and nutrition needs of these families,” said Jackson. “So if you are a resident whose emergency allotments will be ending, please use this list or reach out to our team for more information.”
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.
Additional information on FNS and other programs available from the state and federal level can be found by visiting the New Hanover County Health and Human Services website and clicking on Food & Nutrition Services. Representatives from New Hanover County Health and Human Services can also provide assistance by calling 910-798-3500.
As a reminder, individuals who are receiving FNS benefits can review their monthly allotment by visiting www.ebtedge.com or by calling 888-622-7328.