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Governor plans to extend stay-at-home directive

Also implementing changes to increase food security during emergency

 

Gov. Steve Bullock said in a press conference today he will be issuing a directive next week extending the stay-at-home directive and other measures he has ordered to try to slow and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Bullock emphasized the importance of the measures in his stay-at-home directive, and also announced policies to increase food security in Montana during he pandemic.

Bullock said he would be conferring with health officials to determine when would be the appropriate date to lift the order, and will be announcing the extension sometime next week.

His original directive set the expiration date of the stay-at-home order to run through April 10,

Bullock said that in the coming days and weeks, he will extend federal food assistance to more than 100,000 Montanans, increase food supplies at emergency food pantries and food banks and streamline nutrition assistance for new mothers and children.

A release from Bullock's office said he is also using new flexibility through the CARES Act, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump last Friday, to allow SNAP participants in Montana to continue receiving assistance for 12 months and to waive the three-month time-limit that applies to certain SNAP recipients. Families will not have to reapply during the emergency – their benefits will be automatically renewed. Additionally, Bullock is requesting from the USDA the maximum food assistance available for families eligible for SNAP in April and May. These changes are expected to help more than 100,000 Montanans.

Montanans who receive food assistance from SNAP can check their balance online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by opening an account at http://apply.mt.gov . Clients can also check their benefits by calling 1-866-850-1556.

The state also is taking steps to make it easier for new mothers and people caring for young children to access the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children - WIC - by providing services over the phone, and more flexibility in purchasing WIC foods at the store. Local clinics can be found through an easy search at http://www.signupwic.com. More information may be found at http://www.wic.mt.gov or by calling 1-800-433-4298.

 

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