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Overview

NEW! Connecticut’s SNAP-eligible households to receive additional emergency food benefits Wednesday, November 16

The Connecticut Department of Social Services today announced that it will deliver over $34.2 million in Emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to 217,040 Connecticut households on Wednesday, November 16, 2022. Monthly allocations of emergency SNAP benefits are going to all enrolled households, based on continuance of a declared public health emergency related to COVID-19 in Connecticut.

Authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020, this federal allocation will provide a minimum of $95 in extra food aid to all enrolled families and individuals, raising the state’s total emergency SNAP funding to over $927.3 million since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Specifically:

  • All 217,040 SNAP-eligible households statewide will receive the emergency benefits on their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards on November 16, 2022.
  • Households already eligible for the maximum monthly SNAP benefit will receive an extra $95.
  • The remaining households that don’t usually qualify for the maximum monthly SNAP benefit because of income or other factors will receive extra benefits of at least $95 but averaging an estimated $156.30 (depending on their specific benefit situation).
  • With this additional $34.2 million allocation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, emergency benefits are totaling over $927.3 million in additional SNAP assistance statewide over 31 months, with commensurate spending at supermarkets, groceries, farmers markets, online and other food retailers.
  • The $95 increase results from President Biden’s January 22, 2021, executive order, which required the USDA to consider new guidance allowing states to increase SNAP emergency benefit allocations for all households, including those previously ineligible to receive it. This increase is expected to be ongoing, contingent on the continuation of the state and federal public health emergencies.
  • All households also received their normal SNAP benefits, based on the new Thrifty Food Plan amounts, on one of the first three days of the month as they normally do, according to last name.
  • If a household was granted regular SNAP benefits, or had a change made to their case, on or after Friday, November 11, the additional SNAP benefits will be added to the EBT card on the next Friday, depending on the date of granting. 

In light of recent reports of skimming and phishing scams affecting EBT cardholders, DSS continues to recommend that clients change the PIN for their EBT cards periodically to prevent theft.

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‘Pandemic EBT’ food benefits going to over 65,770 schoolchildren on November 7

The Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS), in collaboration with the Connecticut Department of Education, today announced that $32.5 million in special food assistance benefits is scheduled to be distributed beginning Monday, November 7, 2022, by 5:00 p.m. to the families of over 65,770 schoolchildren who are enrolled in the free or reduced-price meals program and who do not receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Family Assistance (TFA), or Medicaid (HUSKY A) assistance from DSS. 

This is the next distribution of food benefits that will go to a total of approximately 286,360 schoolchildren through the federal Summer Pandemic EBT: Children in School program.  This provides SNAP benefits to families of children who were eligible to receive free and reduced-priced meals at their school as of the end of the 2021–2022 school year, and covers the summer period of July 2022–August 2022.  

Specifically:

  • The Department of Social Services is issuing benefits to the households of over 65,770 children not currently enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Family Assistance (TFA), or HUSKY Health/Medicaid who were also receiving free and reduced priced meals in their school as of June 2022, regardless of learning model. DSS has scheduled the deposit of Summer Pandemic EBT food benefits onto the existing EBT accounts on November 7, 2022, by 5:00 p.m.
  • An additional 17,500 children eligible for this Summer Pandemic EBT: Children in School distribution, but who previously did not receive a Pandemic EBT card, will receive their distribution when their households are mailed EBT cards beginning November 18. The new EBT cards will arrive with instructions on how to activate them and access the food benefits.
  • This current distribution includes students who attended a school participating in the Community Eligibility Provision, in which all students in that school receive meals at no cost to families.
  • The planned one-time additional benefit is $391 per child enrolled in the free and reduced-price meals program.
  • An additional distribution for approximately 54,000 SNAP household children under the age of 6 and who are not enrolled in school is expected in early December.
  • To date, before the upcoming November 7 distribution, DSS, in partnership with the Department of Education, has provided over $561.4 million in P-EBT benefits for the 2019-2020, 2020-2021, and 2021-2022 school years to over 280,000 public school and private school students who are eligible for the free or reduced-price meals program.
  • Benefits can be used at any location that accepts SNAP/EBT cards.  This includes farmers’ markets and direct market farms.  In fact, enrollees can double the value of Pandemic EBT or other SNAP benefits at farmers’ markets participating in CT Fresh Match (more information on that program can be found at www.endhungerct.org/services/farmers-markets). Pandemic EBT participants will also have online access to eligible food purchases through delivery or curbside pickup at participating retailers Amazon, Aldi and Price Chopper/Market 32 via Instacart, Acme, Big Y, BJ’s Wholesale Clubs, Food Bazaar, Geissler’s Supermarkets, PriceRite, Sam’s Club Scan & Go, ShopRite, Stop and Shop Target, Walmart, and Whole Foods.

For more information, visit https://portal.ct.gov/p-ebt

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‘Pandemic EBT’ food benefits going to over 203,100 schoolchildren on October 31

The Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS), in collaboration with the Connecticut Department of Education, today announced that $79.4 million in special food assistance benefits will be distributed Monday, October 31, 2022, to the families of nearly 203,100 schoolchildren who are enrolled in the free or reduced-price meals program and who receive services from the Department of Social Services.

This is the first distribution of food benefits that will go to a total of approximately 286,360 schoolchildren through the federal Summer Pandemic EBT: Children in School program.  This provides SNAP benefits to families of children who were eligible to receive free and reduced-priced meals at their school as of the end of the 2021–2022 school year, and covers the summer period of July 2022–August 2022. An additional distribution for approximately 83,270 children who do not receive services from DSS is expected to be announced in November.

Specifically:

  • The Department of Social Services is issuing benefits to the households of 203,100 children currently enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Family Assistance (TFA), or HUSKY Health/Medicaid who were also receiving free and reduced priced meals in their school as of June 2022, regardless of learning model. DSS will deposit Summer Pandemic EBT food benefits onto the existing EBT accounts on October 31, 2021. For nearly 17,340 families that previously did not receive a Pandemic EBT card, new EBT cards will be mailed beginning on The first week of November, 2022, and will arrive with instructions on how to activate them and access the food benefits.
  • The planned one-time additional benefit is $391 per child enrolled in the free and reduced-price meals program.
  • To date, before the upcoming October 31 distribution, DSS, in partnership with the Department of Education, has provided over $482 million in P-EBT benefits for the 2019-2020, 2020-2021, and 2021-2022 school years to over 300,000 public school and private school students who are eligible for the free or reduced-price meals program.
  • Benefits can be used at any location that accepts SNAP/EBT cards.  This includes farmers’ markets and direct market farms.  In fact, enrollees can double the value of Pandemic EBT or other SNAP benefits at farmers’ markets participating in CT Fresh Match (more information on that program can be found at www.endhungerct.org/services/farmers-markets). Pandemic EBT participants will also have online access to eligible food purchases through delivery or curbside pickup at participating retailers Amazon, Aldi and Price Chopper/Market 32 via Instacart, Acme, Big Y, BJ’s Wholesale Clubs, Food Bazaar, Geissler’s Supermarkets, PriceRite, Sam’s Club Scan & Go, ShopRite, Stop and Shop Target, Walmart, and Whole Foods.

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Connecticut’s SNAP-eligible households to receive additional emergency food benefits Saturday, October 15

The Connecticut Department of Social Services today announced that it will deliver over $34 million in Emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to 215,800 Connecticut households tomorrow Saturday, October 15, 2022. Monthly allocations of emergency SNAP benefits are going to all enrolled households, based on continuance of a declared public health emergency related to COVID-19 in Connecticut.

Authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020, this federal allocation will provide a minimum of $95 in extra food aid to all enrolled families and individuals, raising the state’s total emergency SNAP funding to over $890.3 million since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Specifically:

  • All 215,800 SNAP-eligible households statewide will receive the emergency benefits on their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards on October 15, 2022.
  • Households already eligible for the maximum monthly SNAP benefit will receive an extra $95.
  • The remaining households that don’t usually qualify for the maximum monthly SNAP benefit because of income or other factors will receive extra benefits of at least $95 but averaging an estimated $156.00 (depending on their specific benefit situation).
  • With this additional $34 million allocation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, emergency benefits are totaling over $890.3 million in additional SNAP assistance statewide over 30 months, with commensurate spending at supermarkets, groceries, farmers markets, online and other food retailers.
  • The $95 increase results from President Biden’s January 22, 2021, executive order, which required the USDA to consider new guidance allowing states to increase SNAP emergency benefit allocations for all households, including those previously ineligible to receive it. This increase is expected to be ongoing, contingent on the continuation of the state and federal public health emergencies.
  • All households also received their normal SNAP benefits, based on the new Thrifty Food Plan amounts, on one of the first three days of the month as they normally do, according to last name.
  • If a household was granted regular SNAP benefits, or had a change made to their case, on or after Friday, October 7, the additional SNAP benefits will be added to the EBT card on the next Friday, depending on the date of granting. 

In light of recent reports of skimming and phishing scams affecting EBT cardholders, DSS continues to recommend that clients change the PIN for their EBT cards periodically to prevent theft.

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September 28, 2022: GOVERNOR LAMONT ANNOUNCES INCREASE IN FOOD ASSISTANCE FOR CONNECTICUT RESIDENTS BEGINNING OCTOBER 1

More Working Families, Single and Older Adults Will Become Eligible for SNAP; Monthly Benefits Will Rise More Than 12% For All Current Enrollees

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) will implement new eligibility benefit levels in the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) beginning October 1, 2022, that will result in an estimated 44,000 additional Connecticut residents in 17,600 households becoming eligible for the food assistance program. Additionally, current enrollees will receive more than a 12% increase in their monthly benefits from the program’s annual cost-of-living adjustment.

Connecticut’s SNAP program serves more than 222,600 households, including 138,800 children. Formerly known as food stamps, the federally funded service combats food insecurity for eligible working families, other qualified adults, older adults, and persons with disabilities.

“Expanding the eligibility levels will enable a greater number of individuals and families to qualify for this program and ensure greater access to quality, nutritious food at Connecticut supermarkets, grocery stores, and farmers markets,” Governor Lamont said. “By continuing our partnership with the federal government, actions like this will help in our efforts to combat hunger and food insecurity.”

Under the new eligibility benefit levels, Connecticut residents will qualify for SNAP if their monthly gross income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty level (for example, this would include $2,265 for a single person and $4,625 for a four-person household). This is an increase from the most recent eligibility benefit level of 185% of the federal poverty level ($1,986 for a single person and $4,086 for a four-person household).

The annual cost-of-living adjustment will result in households receiving an average 12.46% increase in their regular monthly food benefits. Specific amounts are geared to household and income size. For example, a household of four receiving the maximum SNAP benefit will see an increase of $104, from $835 to $939. A single person will receive an extra $31 in maximum benefits, from $250 to $281. The first monthly payment that includes this cost-of-living adjustment will be received by enrollees on October 1, 2, or 3, depending on the spelling of their last name.

DSS Commissioner Deidre S. Gifford notes that SNAP enrollees automatically become eligible for other services, ranging from Head Start to winter heating assistance.

“Simply put, qualifying for SNAP will help more Connecticut parents support their children’s health and education in other ways,” Commissioner Gifford said. “This is because families enrolled in SNAP are automatically eligible for Head Start, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, and National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. It’s also important to point out that SNAP enrollees of all ages are also automatically eligible for the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program.  I join Governor Lamont and our partners in human services and advocacy to encourage residents who need help with their food budget to consider applying for the SNAP program.”

Governor Lamont said Connecticut’s move to expand SNAP eligibility is especially timely with this week’s White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health – the first such conference since 1969 – and the release of a national strategy with actions the federal government will take to help end hunger and increase healthy eating and physical activity by 2030 so that fewer Americans experience diet-related diseases like diabetes, obesity, and hypertension.

SNAP enrollees are issued electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards, which work like a debit card and are replenished for every month of eligibility. The cards can be used at participating food markets and grocery stores, convenience stores, farmers markets, and online at many retailers for food items approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service. DSS recommends that SNAP enrollees change their EBT PINs each month to prevent benefits from being stolen due to illegal scams or skimming operations.

Guidance on the new eligibility levels, along with application and program information, are available online at www.ct.gov/snap.

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September 28, 2022 - Higher income-eligibility levels for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in Connecticut (up to 200% of the federal poverty level, effective October 1, 2022); please see Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - SNAP--Eligibility (ct.gov).

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Cost-of-living adjustment/benefit increase for all SNAP enrollees in Connecticut, based on household size (beginning in October 2022 monthly benefit amount):

Maximum SNAP benefits will increase, on average, 12.46%

Household Size

Old Amount

New Amount

% Increase

1

$250.00

$281.00

12.40%

2

$459.00

$516.00

12.42%

3

$658.00

$740.00

12.46%

4

$835.00

$939.00

12.46%

5

$992.00

$1,116.00

12.50%

6

$1,190.00

$1,339.00

12.52%

7

$1,316.00

$1,480.00

12.46%

8

$1,504.00

$1,691.00

12.43%

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IMPORTANT: We have received reports that individuals are receiving text messages similar to the one below from an alleged State of CT email address. This is a scam, and the sender should be ignored/blocked. DSS is not sending text messages for any programs at this time. If individuals may have responded and provided their EBT information, they should immediately call 1-888-328-2666 to cancel their card and request a new one.

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UPDATED!  May 16, 2022 - Expansion of purchasing options of food with SNAP benefits; Geissler’s Supermarkets joins online retailers.

The Department of Social Services (DSS) is pleased to announce Geissler’s Supermarkets now offer online purchasing for delivery and in-store pickup to SNAP households in all of its Connecticut locations. Geissler’s is a family-owned supermarket chain with stores in Bloomfield, East Windsor, Granby, Somers, South Windsor and Windsor.

 

Online, users choose their location and sign up for a free account to begin shopping! Once signed up, Geissler’s shoppers can simply check off SNAP Benefits in their customer preferences. Individual items that are SNAP eligible will then be recognized by a dark green icon that says SNAP during the online shopping experience.

 

**We are also pleased to have other major food retailers – Aldi, Amazon, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Food Bazaar, Price Chopper / Market 32, Sam’s Club Scan & Go, ShopRite, Stop & Shop and Walmart -- offering online purchasing of food with SNAP benefits in Connecticut. In addition, Aldi, Price Chopper / Market 32, and Stop & Shop allow for online delivery with a partnership with Instacart.

 

Online contact points are: https://www.aldi.us/en/about-aldi/snap-ebt-payment/

www.amazon.com/snap-ebt; BJs.com/help/ebt/https://www.geisslers.com/lets-shop-rosie/SNAP/EBT - Price Chopper - Market 32https://shoprite.com/Store-LocatorScan And Go - Sam's Club (samsclub.com)www.stopandshop.com/new-customerwww.walmart.com/grocery

 

Please note:  only SNAP benefits on EBT cards can be used for online purchases.  At this time, cash assistance benefits on EBT cards cannot be used for any part of online shopping, including shipping, delivery or service fees. Customers will need a secondary form of payment for non-food items, such as taxes, tips and fees, per federal SNAP guidelines.

 

While federal rules do not allow any SNAP benefits to be used for shipping, delivery or service fees, some food retailers may choose to waive fees, if applicable. Online shopping customers using SNAP benefits must use another means of payment for any fees and/or any non-SNAP-eligible items they wish to purchase. Customary shipping/delivery fees are:

  • Geissler’s Supermarket pickup fees are $4.95 which is waived with orders $150 and above and delivery starts at $9.95
  • Instacart pickup fees are $1.99 and delivery starts at $3.99.
  • ShopRite has a $10 service fee and a separate delivery fee.
  • Walmart fees vary between $7.95 and $9.95 (or a flat fee of $98/year).
  • Amazon waives delivery fees for orders over $35 with free 2-day shipping for Prime members. For non-Prime members, orders of $25 or more of receive free shipping in 5-8 business days.
  • Stop & Shop Pickup orders are subject to a $2.95 fee.  Stop & Shop Delivery orders are subject to a delivery fee of $9.95 for orders less than $100 and $6.95 for orders greater than $100.  Customers new to Pickup and Delivery can use promo code “SSONLINE50” for $50 off and free* delivery and pickup for 60 days.  *$50 off is obtained by getting $25 off your first two orders of $100 or more each (before taxes and after all other coupons and savings are applied). Stop & Shop will waive your Delivery and Pickup fee on first order and then on all subsequent orders of $100 or more if placed within 60 days of first order. Valid for first-time residential customers. Order calculation excludes alcoholic beverages, gift cards, postage stamps and any other purchases prohibited by law. Offer not transferable. Limit 1 per household. Fuel charges may apply. Enter code at first order checkout. Not valid with any other offer. Expires 12/31/21.

SNAP benefits are funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), which also regulates which foods are eligible for purchase with the benefits.   FNS is the authorizing agency for food retailers participating in the program.  For information about enrolling in SNAP EBT and online food sales through SNAP, food retailers can visit www.fns.usda.gov/snap/retailer-requirements-provide-online-purchasing.

 

To read the federal approval announcement, click here.

 

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Elderly Simplified Application Project (ESAP)

Overview

The Department of Social Services is pleased to announce a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) demonstration project for older adults and those with disabilities.  Once enrolled in SNAP, eligible households qualifying for the Elderly Simplified Application Project (ESAP) will experience additional flexibilities to support continued enrollment.

Flexibilities in ESAP include:

  • An expanded three-year SNAP certification period of eligibility;
  • No periodic report form will be due halfway through the certification cycle, as is usually the case for SNAP enrollees;
  • Revised reporting requirements (explained in greater detail below); and
  • The opportunity for some relaxed renewal flexibilities, when households meet additional requirements.

ESAP Eligibility Criteria:

  • All adult (18 years or older) household members must be determined elderly (60 years or older) or with a disability, per SNAP regulations and
  • No household members can be employed (i.e., receive countable earned income).

Revised Reporting Requirements:

Please note that ESAP-eligible SNAP households need to report information to DSS before their renewal is due if they experience a household change that would disqualify them from ESAP (for example, if the household no longer includes an older adult or adult with disability, or if they start working).  All SNAP households must report if they receive lotto/gambling winnings equal to or in excess of $4,250.   

SNAP Definition of a Disability:

An individual who meets one or more of the following:

  • Receives disability or blindness benefits from any of these programs: Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, or SSI-related Medicaid.

  • Receives a federally or state administered SSI supplement based on disability or blindness, or section 212(a) of PL 93-66.
    Receives a disability retirement benefit from a government agency for a disability considered permanent by SSA.
  • Is a veteran the VA considers totally disabled or permanently housebound or in need of regular aid and attendance.
  • Is a veteran’s surviving spouse who the VA considers:
    • in need of regular aid and attendance,
    • permanently housebound, or
    • approved for benefits because of the veteran’s death and has a disability considered permanent by SSA.
    • Is a veteran’s surviving child who the VA considers:
      • incapable of self-support, or
      • approved for benefits because of the veteran’s death and has a disability considered permanent by SSA
  • receives interim assistance benefits pending the receipt of Supplemental Security Income, receives disability related medical assistance under title XIX of the Social Security Act, or receives disability-based State general assistance (SAGA) benefits provided that the eligibility to receive any of these benefits is based upon disability or blindness criteria established by the State agency which are at least as stringent as those used under title XVI of the Social Security Act.

ESAP is designed to increase the efficiency of SNAP and reduce food insecurity among a population whose household circumstances generally stay the same and can have additional barriers associated with age or disability, such as transportation or mobility. The Connecticut Department of Social Services was approved for this demonstration project by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, the agency that administers and funds SNAP nationwide.   We look forward to serving you!  [updated 10-30-20]

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Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) - Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) - The Department of Social Services (DSS), in collaboration with the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), received approval to operate this program in response to the COVID-19 related school closures for the 2021 – 2022 school year and subsequent summer period. P-EBT provides food supports to help families with children who were receiving free and reduced-price school meals pay for food. For more information please follow this link.

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Food Resources for Kids During COVID-19 Emergency:  Special information from the Office of Early Childhood  (En Espanol)

Suspension of ‘ABAWD’ work requirements.  ABAWD work requirements and three-month SNAP time limit for enrollees in all towns in Connecticut has been suspended for the duration of the public health emergency, per Congressional action (ABAWD=Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependent Children enrolled in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program).

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For Expedited SNAP cases:  DSS will still issues SNAP benefits for one or two months, depending on whether the application was received before or after the 15th of the month, while the interview and verifications are pending.  Just as above, If the household then responds with the needed information before completing the interview, and all the criteria above are met, the DSS worker will process the case without the interview.  Please note:  Expedited SNAP cases are those where the household has gross income less than $150 and liquid assets less than $100 in the month of application, whose combined income and assets are less than their combined rent/mortgage and utility expenses, or who are migrant or seasonal farmworkers who are destitute and have liquid assets less than $100 while residing in Connecticut.

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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, helps eligible individuals and families afford the cost of food at supermarkets, grocery stores and farmers’ markets.

SNAP Time Limits for Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents (ABAWDs): What you should know

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SNAP recipients in Connecticut must report when their household’s total monthly gross income goes above 130% of the federal poverty level (FPL). Please follow this link to learn more about income reporting requirements.

Mensaje Importante sobre SNAP

Beneficiarios de SNAP en Connecticut tienen que reportar cuando el total del ingreso bruto mensual de su hogar exceda el 130% del nivel federal de pobreza (FPL) Oprime aquí para obtener más información.

 

Click this link to view the CT SNAP Policy Handbook.

USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

USDA Aviso de No Discriminación  - Please use IE, Chrome or Firefox browser to open this link.

For full information about getting delicious, healthy foods at Connecticut farmers’ markets and farms, please follow this link.

 

If you're enrolled in SNAP, you can now take care of your

'periodic report form' online!  Check out www.ct.gov/dss/snapreportform

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FREE ADMISSION TO MYSTIC AQUARIUM FOR SNAP EBT CARD HOLDERS

 

For your safety, ALL Aquarium visits now require a timed ticket and must be reserved online. Click Here to Learn More