HARTFORD, Conn. (Conn) — Gov. Ned Lamont declared another COVID-19 emergency Tuesday to secure additional federal funding through Dec. 28, 2022, or until the federal public health emergency ends, whichever comes first.

“I do not intend to issue any executive orders under this declaration, Lamont stated in the declaration. He said he wants to ensure his administration has the authority to apply for and receive federal assistance related to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and housing.

“We cannot ignore the reality that the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted low-income families and communities, many of whom continue to depend on public assistance programs administered by the state,” the governor said. “The continuation of this declaration ensures that Connecticut residents who need additional support during this time will still have access to those resources.”

Lamont first declared public health and civil preparedness emergencies on March 10, 2020, in response to the first cases of COVID-19 in the state. The federal funding would expire on July 16, 2022, if the order wasn’t renewed.

“Food insecurity has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, with research from the Connecticut Foodshare Institute for Hunger & Research Solutions finding that 31% of Connecticut households were food insecure one year into the pandemic, including 44% of households with at least one child,” Lamont said in his declaration. The program currently provides assistance to approximately 219,700 Connecticut households

On average, these supplemental benefits have been providing households an additional $154.74 in food benefits per month, with all enrolled households receiving at least an additional $95 per month. 

State officials said Connecticut has received and distributed $748 million in emergency SNAP benefits since these additional allotments were first provided by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service at the start of the pandemic.