Murphy signs legislation aimed at combatting New Jersey food insecurity

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law a series of bills aimed at combatting food insecurity in the state.

“With more families facing economic hardship as we come out of this pandemic, it is essential we expand access to nutritious breakfasts for any child who needs them,” Assemblywoman Shanique Speight, D-Newark, said in an announcement.

S-3945/A-5884 establishes the Office of Food Insecurity Advocate to, among other responsibilities, find grants and help state departments find new funding sources. In June, the Office of Legislative Services (OLS) could not determine how much the office might cost the state but noted federal and private funding could offset costs.

A-2281/S-1078 requires the commissioner of human services to “streamline” the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) application process for senior citizens. Under the measure, the agency will also “conduct outreach” about senior participation in the program.

A-5880/S-3941 appropriates $2 million for the state Department of Human Services to develop mobile software for SNAP recipients. OLS could not determine how much the program would cost the state annually.

A-5882/S-3943 establishes a state supplement for federal summer food service program meals. OLS estimated the bill would lead to an annual spending increase of about $450,000 for the Department of Agriculture.

A-5883/S-3944 establishes a state supplement for “breakfast after the bell” meals to supplement select school districts participating in the federal school breakfast program. OLS determined the bill would lead to an annual spending increase of about $4.5 million for the Department of Agriculture.

A-5690/S-3772 requires the Department of Labor & Workforce Development to link to the New Jersey Supplemental Nutrition program on its website and in its “unemployment compensation benefits” emails.

This article was originally posted on Murphy signs legislation aimed at combatting New Jersey food insecurity

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