BEL AIR, Md. — Amber Edgar holds her breath when she stops off at the supermarket these days.
“A gallon of milk, a couple of things of yogurt, a thing of cereal and some juice for my youngest son and a thing of soda, and almost $60 it cost me," she said.
But Edgar doesn’t have any choice, since starting Thursday, her two sons can no longer count on meals at school with the summer break at hand.
“You just have to struggle,” Edgar said. “One month, this is more important. The other month, this is more important, and you’ve got to put away as much as you possibly can. I mean counting change, whatever it may be, doing extra little jobs on the side.”
With the help of the state, and some of its federal stimulus money, Harford County is going to spend nearly $1 million to boost SNAP benefits that can help feed an estimated 10,000 children this summer.
“I know most of us haven’t felt this inflation pinch like we’re feeling now for quite some time, so I think it’s part of government’s job to step in and to help out,” said Harford County Executive Barry Glassman.
The added benefit breaks down to an extra $30 per child during the months of June, July and August, plus an extra $10 over the winter break in December.
That’s a total of $100 more for each child this year, which will automatically show up on their electronic benefits card at a time when many families need it the most.
“That’s going to be incredible,” Edgar said. “That will make a lot of difference. I mean $100 per child? That gives me an extra $200 to spend on food that we need to put on my table that I don’t have to worry about where I’m going to get that extra money from.”