Coronavirus closures make way for expected increase in food assistance applications

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HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) – As the unemployment rate is rising, the federal government is expecting an inflow of applications for food assistance as more members of the community are expected to experience food insecurity.

Food assistance programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, have been expanded because of the coronavirus.

During the pandemic, SNAP recipients may receive supplemental funding, parents can pick up school meals for their kids to eat at home and people can now enroll in food programs remotely rather than in person.

“Some folks are wondering ‘Oh I don’t know if I’m eligible yet, have I been laid off long enough?'” Director of Washington County’s Department of Social Services Mike Piercy said. “Go ahead and ask, go ahead and apply. This is not the time to be skittish about seeing what kind of benefit you can receive.”

Legislators are looking to further expand food assistance programs for pregnant women, families, seniors, and people with disabilities.

More information on how to apply for food assistance programs can be found https://www.usa.gov/food-help

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