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Some Missouri Families are Left Unpaid for the Food Assistance from Last Summer

When will her family receive $1,200 in one-time grocery assistance? (Photo: Hunger Free Oklahoma)

When will her family receive $1,200 in one-time grocery assistance? (Photo: NBC News)

Missouri has yet to pay families entitled to food assistance last summer. Marie Moorehead has asked Missouri agencies the same question since last fall.

When will her family receive $1,200 in one-time grocery assistance?

Last summer, the benefits were part of a COVID federal relief program designed to help with food costs.

Despite the summer being over for more than five months, the single mother of three young children says she is no closer to finding an answer.

The state’s education department has informed her that they are still collecting eligibility data, after which the social services department will process and issue the food assistance benefits.

Moorehead has had to sacrifice to feed her children due to rising food prices and a limited budget, including not paying her entire utility bill or borrowing money from family and friends.

READ ALSO: Enhanced Food Aid Comes to an End for the Vulnerable Families


When will her family receive $1,200 in one-time grocery assistance? (Photo: WFYI)

Because her children’s school district lacks buses, she must pay someone to pick them up. It all adds up, and she grows increasingly concerned that the benefits will never arrive.

Moorehead and thousands of other Missouri families are awaiting summer Pandemic EBT family assistance, a federal program administered by states that provides a one-time deposit of $391 in grocery benefits for each eligible child to cover summer 2022 costs.

Children who qualified for subsidized school lunches during the previous academic year and children under six are eligible. Around 454,000 school children and nearly 158,000 children under six are eligible for the benefit.

Many states struggled to get the food assistance out in time for the summer due partly to the difficulties of running an emergency program with shifting federal guidelines each year, necessitating interagency collaboration between social services and education departments.

However, Missouri’s delays have been particularly severe.

Missouri has made progress in gathering the necessary eligibility data to begin disbursing food assistance, but state officials have yet to provide a timetable for when benefits will be distributed.

READ ALSO: $95 Food Assistance To be Given to Michigan Families

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