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Armato, Mazzeo & Vainieri Huttle Bill to Increase Senior Participation in State Nutrition Aid Program Clears Assembly

(TRENTON) –To simplify and streamline seniors’ access to the New Jersey Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the full Assembly cleared legislation 72-0 on Thursday that would ensure all eligible seniors are made aware of their ability to apply for the program.  The measure was also approved by the Senate 32-0.

The bill (A-2281) sponsored by Assembly Democrats John Armato (D-Atlantic), Vincent Mazzeo (D-Atlantic) and Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) would require the Commissioner of Human Services to review and streamline the SNAP application process for seniors. It would also require the Department of Human Services to conduct comprehensive outreach to ensure seniors are aware of their eligibility.

Assembly members Armato, Mazzeo and Vainieri Huttle, released the following joint statement:

Less than half of New Jersey residents 60 and older who are eligible for SNAP benefits use them. This legislation looks to increase senior participation by simplifying the application process, allowing seniors to apply for SNAP through multiple points of entry, and utilizing a comprehensive community outreach and public awareness campaign.

“Taking these steps will increase the likelihood of seniors taking advantage of the SNAP benefits, so that they can maintain a healthy, nutritious diet. Access to SNAP benefits for many may also mean the difference between having food and going without.”