The partial federal government shutdown has prompted the U.S Department of Agriculture to ask states to provide early issue of February benefits for those who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The 615,405 Oregonians currently enrolled in SNAP will see their next monthly allocation by Jan. 20, according to a press release from the Oregon Department of Human Services.

“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 Jan. 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 recertifications that are completed or processed after Jan. 15. The early issuance will proceed, even if the federal government shutdown ends prior to January 20.

If clients are concerned about running out of SNAP benefits, they can contact 211Info.org to seek local food resources, the release said.

To find a local DHS office, go to www.oregon.gov/dhs and click on Office Locations.

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