FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government is extending a program that provides financial assistance to eligible individuals and families confronted with the rising cost of living.

A second round of payments under the Emergency Fuel and Food Benefit will provide $22 million through payments of $225 for low-income individuals, including seniors, or $450 for families. The funding will be distributed to existing Social Development clients who are receiving assistance from social or housing programs, as well as some clients of the Disability Support Program. Seniors who apply for and receive the 2022 Low-Income Senior Benefit will also automatically receive the Emergency Fuel and Food Benefit.

“We recognize the challenges that many New Brunswickers, including children and seniors, are confronted with daily due to the changing economic climate,” said Social Development Minister Dorothy Shephard. “As the cost of living remains high, it is important that we support the most vulnerable members of our society. While we are investing more in services and programs, such as housing, it is also important to assist New Brunswickers financially during difficult economic times.”

The original Emergency Food and Fuel Benefit announced in June distributed $20.1 million to more than 69,000 households.

“These initiatives are in addition to previously announced measures that benefit New Brunswickers,” said Finance and Treasury Board Minister Ernie Steeves. “Those include an investment of more than $100 million in affordable housing and a 17 per cent increase in the minimum wage during 2022-23.”