This summer, the federal government announced that emergency pandemic SNAP benefits would be slashed at the end of September.
Now, the state of New Mexico has secured a small extension in these benefits for at least another month.
Reporter Taylor Velazquez chats with the Human Services Department to talk about the impact of SNAP benefits and accessibility in the future.
When the pandemic hit, many families were overwhelmed with financial hardship. Leaving many folks to rely on SNAP benefits to provide for their families during immense uncertainty.
"So long as the state of New Mexico has a public health emergency order through the Governor’s office, we will be able to continue to ask for this waiver at least until the end of the year."
That’s Karmela Martinez, Income Support Division Director at the Human Services Department. She said, since the pandemic she has seen the need for SNAP benefits expand.
Considering that the state has continually grappled with food insecurity, COVID-19 has only made those struggles worse.
Since 1 in 5 children face food insecurity, Martinez said, the impact of hunger is too great on health and child development to not take advantage of all the available opportunities.
The Human Services Department anticipates that they can request this extension every month from the federal government and encourages people to fill out the online application.