BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Thousands of Anne Arundel County students will receive additional financial aid to help their families make ends meet over the summer, county officials announced Tuesday.

Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman said 17,803 students will benefit from the expanded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) aid, which provides an extra $100—$30 in June, July and August, and $10 in December.

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“This is an added benefit on top of the SNAP benefits that are going to be, that families already receive,” said Carnitra White, executive director of the county’s department of social services.

White said the Anne Arundel County committed $1.5 million to the program, well above the $140,000 that was required to participate. The reason for that, she said, was so that all of the county’s 17,803 SNAP-eligible students would benefit.

“I wish we could have done more,” lamented Pittman, who acknowledged that the county’s $1.5 million contribution was the maximum amount allowed.

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Food insecurity has been a growing issue among local families throughout the pandemic, White said. She said the number of families receiving SNAP benefits has increased by 88% compared to before the pandemic.

“So, we have seen an increase in the numbers that we had of persons applying for SNAP benefits and persons receiving them,” she said.

White attributed that increase to a combination of factors, including people who have either lost work or are working fewer hours since the pandemic began.

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“As people come back to work, we probably will see those numbers decrease, but I believe it was due to the decreased number of hours people are working,” she said.

CBS Baltimore Staff