This afternoon, as the President signed a spending package that averts another government shutdown, the effects of last month’s partial shutdown are still rippling across communities from coast to coast.
A majority of SNAP recipients received their February benefits in January, which helped millions of Americans continue to purchase food for their families at a time when there was no clear end in sight to the shutdown. But, it also forced people to stretch these dollars farther than usual and live with the uncertainty of when their next SNAP benefits would arrive.
Fortunately, many states are responding to this potential gap in benefits and reducing the time between February and March SNAP issuances
Here’s a roundup of states disbursing March SNAP benefits earlier than usual and providing much needed relief for millions of families.
In Illinois: March SNAP benefits coming early
Normally, the 1.8 million SNAP recipients in Illinois receive their monthly benefits at staggered intervals during the first two weeks of the month. However, March benefits will be loaded into all accounts on March.
In Louisiana: Louisiana releasing next month’s SNAP benefits by March 2
Louisiana is adjusting the March schedule to help close gaps for families whose February benefits may have been spent earlier than normal. The state will hand out all of next month’s benefits by March 2 for the nearly 840,000 who receive SNAP assistance.
In Delaware: Delaware to issue March food benefits March 4 to reduce hardships
Delaware is issuing SNAP benefits on March 4 instead of its usually staggered schedule between the 2nd and 23rd day of the month, ensuring a timely issuance of food assistance to the more than 136,000 Delawareans who use the program to help feed their families.
In Nebraska: March SNAP to dodge threat of government shutdown
In Nebraska SNAP benefits for more than 70,000 Nebraskans are issued between the first and the fifth of each month, but earlier this week the federal government announced that recipients will receive next month’s SNAP dollars on March 1.
In Ohio: Change in food benefits
Jefferson County residents will get 50 percent of their March SNAP benefits on February 22. The remaining benefits will be disbursed on the regular issuance date in March. This impacts more than 7,000 households in the county alone.
For millions of families, receiving March benefits earlier – even a few days – ensures that the weeks ahead won’t be hungry ones.