Monthly benefits for certain working families that also receive food assistance are set to more than triple in Maine starting this month.

The Department of Health and Human Services says Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits will increase from $15 to $50 a month for about 13,000 working families.

Lawmakers approved the increase in 2011 using surplus funds from the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew says too many families that receive food assistance are still going hungry because their level of aid is “inadequate.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service says nearly 15 percent of households in the state are considered food insecure.

The DHHS says they will also issue benefits one week earlier than usual.

The funds will be distributed Sunday.

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