Special to Iredell Free News

RALEIGH — Food and Nutrition Services recipients in North Carolina will see a temporary increase in the amount of benefits they receive.

This increase, which was announced this week by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, is part of the federal Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020.

“We know that COVID has created additional hardships and increased food insecurity for children and families,” said David Locklear, Deputy Director for Economic and Family Services. “We want to do everything possible to support North Carolinians who need help buying food, and increasing benefits for hundreds of thousands of families will be instrumental in meeting that need.”

The maximum benefit amount for households receiving FNS will increase by 15% until June 30, 2021. This increase will end on June 30, 2021, when benefit amounts will return to their current levels.

Recipients can find out the amount of their benefits by using one of the methods below.

1. Visit www.ebtedge.com. Click on “More Information” under “EBT Cardholder.” You will be prompted to login and/or register your account.

2. Download the ebtEDGE mobile app. The app is available as a free download on the Apple Store and Google Play.

3. Call 1-888-622-7328 on the day you normally receive benefits.

Food and Nutrition Services is a food assistance program that provides help buying food for low-income families. Benefits are issued via Electronic Benefit Transfer cards (EBT cards). For more information about FNS, visit https://www.ncdhhs.gov/assistance/low-income-services/food-nutrition-services-food-stamps.

People can apply for FNS in English or Spanish online with ePASS, by filling out a paper application and mailing it to or dropping it off at their county Department of Social Services office or applying in person at their county DSS office.

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