February Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Benefits to be issued early
As a result of the partial federal government shutdown, the U.S Department of Agriculture has asked states to provide early issuance of February benefits for those who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for food security.
The 615,405 Oregonians currently enrolled in SNAP will see their next monthly allocation by January 20th.
“We want to be clear that these are not additional funds that SNAP recipients are receiving, but an early issuance of February benefits,” stated Self-Sufficiency Director Kim Fredlund. “Those who typically see additional funds added to their EBT card the first week of each month will see their February money by January 20, rather than at the beginning of next month.”
A notification letter is being sent to current SNAP participants this week, and DHS is asking SNAP participants to carefully budget their food benefits through February.
DHS is awaiting further direction regarding benefit issuance for January recertification that is completed or processed after January 15. The early issuance will proceed, even if the federal government shutdown ends prior to January 20.
If people are concerned about running out of SNAP benefits, they can contact 211Info to seek local food resources.
To find a local DHS office, go to http://www.oregon.gov/dhs and click on Office Locations.
About Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a federally funded program which offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families. SNAP is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net.
The intent of the SNAP program is to help improve the health and well-being of low-income households and individuals by providing them a means to meet their nutritional needs. Some important pieces of information for you to know:
- SNAP benefits are a supplement. They are not meant to meet all of the food needs of a household or an individual. Using other resources like food pantries and WIC in addition to SNAP will help stretch household food budgets.
- People do not need to be destitute to qualify for SNAP benefits. People can be working or have other forms of income and still be eligible for benefits.
In Oregon, the SNAP Program is administered by the Department of Human Services (DHS). The eligibility determination and issuance of benefits are provided through DHS and AAA offices across the state.
The benefits are distributed through the state's Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) system, which allows people to access their benefits by using an "Oregon Trail Card" at the grocery store point of sale machines.