CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Benefits through the Supplemental Nutritition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP, can now be stretched again at farmers markets, farm stands, mobile markets and local food retailers statewide.
Governor Jim Justice recently announced the allocation of $100,000 in federal CARES Act funding to keep the SNAP Stretch Program going into December.
That was followed with an announcement from the West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition and the state Department of Agriculture.
At participating local sites, SNAP/EBT card holders can see their federal nutrition benefits doubled or, in cases where the card user has children or is a senior citizen, tripled with SNAP Stretch.
The program launched in 2018.
In August, in the middle of the market season and the coronavirus pandemic, the group appealed for additional funding after exhausting the full SNAP Stretch budget for the year — $158,000 — with additional assistance for more than 4,600 families.
It represented an increased demand for benefits used to buy local produce, meat, dairy, eggs and other products.
In all of 2019, those with Food and Farm Coalition said $53,000 was used for SNAP Stretch.
“We could not have predicted what this demand was going to be this year,” Spencer Moss, executive director of the West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition, previously told MetroNews.
The group had originally requested $300,000 in federal CARES Act funding.