January 18, 2023 2:49 PM
Extra Federal Food Benefits Due to COVID-19 Will End in March
In North Carolina and nationally, emergency allotments for COVID-19 in the Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) program will end in March 2023. Households that have been receiving extra FNS benefits (called "emergency allotments") each month since March 2020 or after will see a reduction in benefits because of a federal change that ends emergency allotments for all states.
As part of the COVID-19 public health emergency, families enrolled in the FNS program in North Carolina have been receiving at least $95 extra per month since March 2020 through emergency allotments. With the end of emergency allotments, the average FNS benefit per person per day will decrease from $8.12 to $5.45.
These emergency allotments have been critical in helping families compensate for financial and economic hardships due to COVID-19.
"Families needed these additional benefits to get healthy and nutritious food throughout the pandemic," said Susan Gale Perry, NCDHHS Chief Deputy Secretary for Opportunity and Well-Being. "While FNS emergency payments are ending, the need is not. We will continue to prioritize food security for all North Carolinians."
Since March 2020, an average of 900,000 North Carolina households received FNS emergency allotments, giving more families access to nutrition meals that support healthy and productive lives, and bringing approximately $150 million federal dollars each month into local economies.
Beneficiaries will continue to receive their regular monthly benefit amounts in March 2023 based on a person’s or household’s current eligibility, income, household size and other federal eligibility requirements. FNS recipients can view their regular monthly FNS benefit amount and their emergency allotment amount online at www.ebtedge.com. NCDHHS encourages families to keep their FNS information up to date to help them get the greatest benefits they are eligible to receive.
NCDHHS is working to increase access to food support by growing the NCCARE360 network to help connect families in need to resources in their communities. Additionally, the NC Medicaid Healthy Opportunities Pilot program is connecting people in certain counties with food vouchers and other services to boost their overall health.
North Carolinians in need of additional food assistance can learn more about additional food and nutrition resources at www.ncdhhs.gov/foodresources. Residents can apply for FNS benefits online with ePass or by filling out a paper application and mailing it to or dropping it off at their county Department of Social Services.