INDIANAPOLIS — The need for financial assistance in Indiana’s households is growing by the day.
Indiana Family and Social Services Administration Secretary Jennifer Sullivan said applications for state assistance programs are up by 75%.
“Snap applications are 253% higher,” she said. “TANF applications are 209% higher."
Sullivan said food insecurity was already a widespread issue in Indiana before the pandemic. Two months into a stay-at-home order, Indiana leaders are asking FEMA for a month's supply worth of food to give to Hoosier families.
“Beginning this week, Indiana's 12 charitable food banks, a large community kitchen, and the Salvation Army will begin receiving a weekly shipment of 125,000 FEMA meals," Sullivan said.
The additional food comes with additional assistance for health care.
“In all Medicaid programs, cost sharing is suspended,” Sullivan said. “This includes the Healthy Indiana Plan and the Children's Health Insurance Plan. This means there are no co-payments at the doctor and premiums are waived for the months of march through August of 2020."
Next month, anyone with students missing out on their free or reduced price school lunch can receive SNAP benefits to feed their family. That includes families that wouldn't normally be eligible for food assistance. This expands SNAP benefits to 400,000 Indiana children.
“Households currently not receiving snap benefits will receive a new pandemic EBT card in the mail, with benefits automatically added,” Sullivan said. “You don't have to do anything to receive these new benefits."