According to a news release, Congress recently passed legislation designating February as the last month emergency food assistance would be provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. However, eligible Texans can still receive regular monthly benefits.
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission will distribute over $345.9 million in emergency SNAP benefits during the month of February. Roughly 1.6 million households will receive at least $95 each in emergency aid, the release said.
The emergency allotment is expected to show up in eligible Texans’ benefit accounts by Feb. 28.
Under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Texas has distributed over $9.7 billion in emergency benefits since April 2020.
Texans who are eligible for food assistance will still receive monthly benefits, but their allotment will be smaller without the emergency assistance. This change cannot be appealed, according to the release.
To find out how much their monthly benefit will be, Texans can visit YourTexasBenefits.com, log in to the Your Texas Benefits mobile app, or call 211 and select option 2. For information about social services such as food pantries, housing, child care, rent assistance and more, Texans can call 211 and select option 1. Information is also available online and through the 211 chat portal.
“The state of Texas has been able to help millions of families across our great state access the food they need to stay healthy,” Gov. Greg Abbott said in the release. "We're proud to have provided billions of dollars in supplemental benefits so Texans could have healthy and nutritious food options to take care of their families and loved ones."
SNAP is a federal program that provides food assistance to low-income people and families across the nation. SNAP funds can be used to buy food and garden seeds, but tobacco, alcohol and nonedible items are not eligible for SNAP purchases, according to the HHSC.
Most people ages 16-59 must follow work rules to receive benefits, meaning they must be actively looking for a job, have a job or be in an approved training program. Pregnant people and people with disabilities may not have to work to be eligible. For more information about SNAP in Texas, visit the HHSC’s website.
In November, Abbott announced that 3.5 million Texans were eligible to receive $391 each in summer food benefits. The extra assistance is available to families who receive free or reduced-price lunch and were impacted by school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic. These benefits can be claimed and managed online.