This month, some Virginia residents will be getting extra food stamps. The state is once again tapping an emergency allotment to enhance its food stamp program. The extra money will help thousands of families put more food on the table. However, not all residents will be eligible for the emergency benefits.
In order to qualify for Virginia’s emergency food stamp allotment, families have to already receive benefits. This is because the state of Virginia is tapping into federal funding for the extra money. Furthermore, these extra benefits aren’t tied to Virginia’s current state of emergency. Instead, state officials acquired the extra funds to mitigate the economic impact of the ongoing pandemic.
Virginia residents who already get food stamps can expect their emergency allotments next week. The money will hit Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards on Sunday, January 16th, according to WTKR a Virginia-based CBS affiliate. The emergency allotments will bring each household’s overall benefits up to the allowable limit.
In Virginia, a household with only one person will get a total of $250 in food stamps. A family of eight, however, will see their total monthly benefits reach $1,504. Households with more than eight people will get another $188 for each additional person. For instance, a household of ten would get see a total of $1,880 after the emergency allotment on the 16th.
The Origins of Virginia’s Emergency Food Stamps
The extra money comes from an extension from the USDA. Residents in Virginia have been getting these emergency food stamp allotments since 2020. The state filed a request for the extra funds in late March of that year, as the pandemic began. Since then, the USDA has approved their requests every month. With the current nationwide surge of COVID cases, they’ll probably continue getting extensions.
According to Virginia’s Emergency Allotment Request, an estimated 375,000 households will benefit from the extra food stamps. All told, the USDA estimates the total cost of this month’s emergency allotment benefits will be $68 million.
The Emergency Allotment request also lists the reasons why Virginia applied for and received the extra money. The first reason listed is that residents of the state have confirmed cases of COVID. Also, residents of Virginia have “experienced economic impacts due to job suspension or losses.” Additionally, Virginia’s “emergency or disaster declaration remains active.”
Problems Pile Up for Virginia Residents
In the past seven days, Virginia saw two massive snowstorms. The first dumped nearly a foot of snow on the state. That snowfall left residents without power and shut down major roadways. As a result, Virginia’s governor declared a state of emergency. Then, just as they were starting to recover, a second winter storm piled more snow on them.