virus

For the second day in a row, there are no new cases of the coronavirus in Madison County, keeping the total at 21 known cases, according to health department officials.

Ten of those patients have recovered, the health department's Facebook post reads.

And while many are out of work to help do their part by social distancing, thousands of Kentuckians and Madison Countians alike are facing money shortages.

Because of this, Kentucky has announced changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a federally funded food assistance program that provides virtual nutritional support to anyone who needs it.

Having recently received an emergency allotment waiver from the federal government, those who participate in the program in Kentucky are eligible for the months of April and May to get the maximum allotment of benefits.

According to a news release from Legal Aid of the Bluegrass, the current allotment is $194 per month for a single person, $355 per month for a couple or $646 per month for a family of four.

Locally in Madison County, there are 13,400 people, or 15.2% of residents, who do not have adequate access or affordability to nutritional food. Of them, 3,160 are children, a report from Feeding America states.

In the same report, Kentucky faces another low rank, as the state is listed at 20th in the nation for child food insecurity rates, falling at 18.4%.

Many people who were ineligible for SNAP benefits before the pandemic may find themselves with reduced hours, job loss or other circumstances, and are now able to apply for SNAP benefits.

Those eligible to apply should do so soon so they can benefit from the allotment waiver and get the maximum amount.

If you are age 60 or older, or a Medicare beneficiary, you can call the program to assist with the application and others. Those who do not meet these eligibility criteria can apply by contacting their local Department of Community Based Services. The Richmond office's number is 859-626-5833.

Reach Taylor Six at 624-6623 or follow her on Twitter @TaylorSixRR.

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