Merchants are rapidly expanding access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which will have the effect of making a big impact on recipients. Back in April 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that an extra $1 billion per month had been allocated to the program, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. While the amount of extra money eligible families may receive, generally depends on family size, $95 is the minimum households must be given. Along with the District of Columbia, the following states are reportedly extending their SNAP benefits programs through the month of February:

Alabama Colorado Hawaii Indiana Iowa Maine Maryland Michigan New Jersey Ohio Oregon Rhode Island South Carolina Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

Now to be eligible for the SNAP program, your household must have an annual pre-tax income of the following amounts, for each respective household size:

One-person household: $25,760 Two-person household: $34,840 Three-person household: $43,920 Four-person household: $53,000. Five-person household: $62,080 Six-person household: $71,160 Seven-person household: $80,240 Eight-person household: $89,320 Households must meet both gross and net income requirements in most circumstances. Before any deductions, gross income refers to a household's entire, non-excluded revenue at a poverty rate of up to 130 percent. In other news, in North Carolina, the Food and Nutrition Service Online Purchasing Program has also recently expanded. With the Food and Nutrition Service Online Purchasing Program, you may now use your EBT cards to buy qualified food products online. There are a total of 11 participating retailers currently accepting online EBT purchases. The new stores that have joined this program include the following:

Aldi Amazon BJ's Wholesale Club Carlie C's Compare Foods Clayton (added retailer) Deep Roots Market (added retailer) Earth Fare (added retailer) Food Lion Piggly Wiggly in Kinston (added retailer) Publix Walmart

Even better, EBT cards can now be used at participating fast-food restaurant chains in certain circumstances. For example, Papa Murphy’s accepts EBT cards in all states. Moreover, most take-and-bake stores don’t count as restaurants since you have to take the food home to cook it. Other food chains like Burger King, Dairy Queen, and Taco Bell all accept EBT cards. And who knows? You might even get lucky at some of the stores near you. Respectfully check with your favorite local fast-food restaurants to see if they might be accepting EBT.

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