(TRENTON) – Aiming to make the application process for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) more convenient and accessible, a measure received final legislative approval on Thursday, passing the full Assembly 73-0. The bill was previously approved by the Senate in February 34-0 and now goes to the Governor’s desk.
The bill (A-4240) would allow applicants to apply for SNAP benefits by phone. The Commissioner of the Department of Human Services would be required to consult with county welfare agencies and county boards of social services to create an electronic system to process phone applications and ensure the system is compliant with federal standards. This technological upgrade is intended to make the application process simpler and more easily accessible.
The measure’s sponsors, Assembly Democrats Joann Downey (D-Monmouth), Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen), Eric Houghtaling (D-Monmouth) and Speaker Craig J. Coughlin (D-Middlesex) released the following joint statement:
“Without SNAP, many families would struggle to put food on the table, and children would go hungry. Not only does SNAP help lift people out of poverty, but it also helps improve their overall health and well-being. We want to make sure every family that’s eligible for these essential benefits can easily and conveniently take advantage of this program.”