New Mexicans who qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will see the continued additional funds in their accounts through the month of June, the state announced Tuesday (June 14).
The benefits are being extended due to the ongoing wildfires throughout the state, namely the Hermit's Peak-Calf Canyon Fire and the recent Midnight Fire on either side of Taos County.
Individuals and households will continue to receive the maximum amount of SNAP benefits available through July 12, 2022.
The measure also allows SNAP money to be spent on hot and prepared food in order to make sure wildfire evacuees have ample access to warm meals. Restaurants are not included in this addition.
"We’re here to support families when they need us most," said Human Services Department Deputy Secretary Angela Medrano in a press release. "Providing access to fresh, nutritious foods and having hot food available when you’re displaced and unable to cook is essential for families."
The extended benefits have been ongoing since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March of 2020. So far, the state has allocated $1,026,560,353 for extended benefits, helping 359,463 New Mexico families, according to the release.
The Human Services Department is asking those who are eligible to provide the most up-to-date contact information through their website: yes.state.nm.us.
The HSD also reminded that residents receiving benefits “can double up food bucks and purchase more fruits and vegetables when they spend SNAP EBT card dollars at participating farmers markets, farm stands, mobile markets and grocery stores.”