Food assistance to be increased during COVID crisis
Last updated 4/6/2020 at 10:44am
HELENA — Gov. Steve Bullock said Friday in a press conference 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, seven 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.
Current WIC recipients can easily check their benefits by using the WICShopper application, calling the number on the back of their card, or asking their clinic staff or store staff to provide them a benefit balance.