Here is additional information from the Maine DHHS:
Why are benefits changing?
Benefits are changing for two reasons. First, benefits are changing due to the annual cost of living increase set by the federal government. These changes happen every year.
Second, benefits are going down because a federal law which raised Food Supplement benefits in April 2009 is expected to expire on November 1, 2013.
When are benefits changing?
On October 1, benefits may go up a little bit due to annual changes in the cost of living. On November 1, all benefits will go down.
How much are benefits going down on November 1?
Benefit amounts depend on many things, like income, household size and expenses. So it is hard to say exactly how much benefits will change. But if you live in a household of four and nothing else changes, your benefit will go down about $36 a month.
How can clients eat healthy on a low budget?
Here are some places where you can find tips to help you prepare healthy meals on a low budget:
- 10-Tips Nutrition Series (http://www.choosemyplate.gov/healthy-eating-tips/ten-tips.html)
- ChooseMyPlate.gov (http://www.choosemyplate.gov/)
- Plan, Compare and Prepare (http://blogs.usda.gov/2013/03/28/healthy-eating-on-a-budget/)
- Eat Right When Money’s Tight. (http://snap.nal.usda.gov/resource-library/eat-right-when-moneys-tight )
- The USDA Recipe Box (http://www.fns.usda.gov/fncs-recipe-box) helps you find healthy low cost recipes and create cookbooks and shopping lists. Use it to search for recipes based on total cost or cost per serving.
How do I check my Food Supplement balance?
- Check the Food Supplement balance on your last grocery receipt.
- Log on to www.pinetreecard.com to set up an account and view your balance.
- Call the toll-free number (1-800-477-7428) on the back of your EBT card.