Gov. Bullock provides Montana COVID-19 update - April 3

Posted at 10:53 AM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 15:51:04-04

HELENA — Gov. Steve Bullock is holding a news conference about the COVID-19 situation in Montana.

Gov. Bullock is expected to reaffirm the importance that Montanans adhere to the stay at home order and also to announce efforts to provide food security.

One announcement made on Friday morning by Gov. Bullock was that Montanans should expect to see the stay at home order to remain in effect longer than originally planned.

Gov. Bullock had previously declared a state of emergency and ordered that all Montana public schools close until until April 10.

The governor said Friday that he will extend federal food assistance to more than 100,000 Montanans, increase food supplies at emergency food pantries and food banks, and streamline nutrition assistance for new mothers and children.

“Montana families are already doing everything they can to make ends meet,” Gov. Bullock said in a news release. “But hardworking Montana families have been forced to take on even greater challenges during the COVID-19 public health emergency."

The state will double its supply of food commodities from the federal government that will be provided at no cost to people in need of short-term hunger relief through food pantries, food banks, soup kitchens, tribal partners, and senior centers.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) makes commodity foods available to states for distribution to low-income people through emergency food providers.

SNAP participants in Montana will be able to continue receiving assistance for 12 months and the three-month time-limit that applies to certain SNAP recipients will be waived, according to Gov. Bullock.

Montanans who receive food assistance from SNAP can check their balance online by opening an account here. Clients can also check their benefits by calling 1-866-850-1556.

Gov. Bullock also said Friday that the the state is making it easier for new mothers and those caring for young children to access the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) by providing services over the phone, and more flexibility in purchasing WIC foods at the store.

Local clinics can be found through a search and more information can be found here.More information may be found here or by calling 1-800-433-4298.

Watch the video of the April 3, 2020 press conference below.

Gov. Bullock provides COVID-19 update - April 3