My bill A-3010, also known as the “Heat –and-eat” bill will help to ensure that struggling families have access to food, energy assistance and qualifying families to receive additional nutritional assistance.

Many of us are lucky enough to not have to worry about how we are going to feed our children or keep them warm during the winter months, but this is a daily reality for many low-income families in our state. This will help struggling families gain access to the bare essentials – food on the table and safe, warm homes.

Under A-3010, every household in the state
eligible to receive benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) would receive a minimum annual energy assistance payment of $21 to qualify for a heating and cooling standard utility allowance which in turn qualifies them for additional nutritional assistance.

This bill will help about 160,000 New Jersey
families get increased assistance. Before July 2014, the state made annual energy assistance payments of $1 to SNAP recipient households to qualify them for the heating and cooling standard utility allowance.

Under the federal Agricultural Act of 2014, households must receive more than $20 in annual energy assistance payments to maintain the household’s eligibility. The bill therefore ensures that eligible households that are not currently enrolled can receive the heating and cooling standards utility allowance, allowing them to receive more nutrition assistance.

On April 12th this bill passed the Senate (34-2-4) and the assembly (66-7-6). It is awaiting the Governor’s signature.