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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Montana seeks federal approval to continue a children's food assistance program

The state health department is seeking federal approval to continue a pandemic-era food assistance program for kids.

Health department Director Adam Meier announced the plan Friday after previously telling lawmakers the agency would not renew the program.

The program helps low-income families buy food when kids lose access to free or reduced-price meals at school during the pandemic.

Meier says the program is a valuable resource for families as grocery costs continue to rise.

Montana’s latest request means the state can also submit a plan to continue the program into the summer.

If approved, payments for the latest funds will be made to families through the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, card system.

Corin Cates-Carney manages MTPR’s daily and long-term news projects. After spending more than five years living and reporting across Western and Central Montana, he became news director in early 2020.