Federal Food Assistance Arriving Early Because Of Shutdown

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CINCINNATI (AP) — Ohioans who receive food stamps are getting February’s benefits this week.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue asked states to issue Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program aid no later than Jan. 20 for the nearly 40 million Americans in the program. The Trump administration said SNAP will be funded through February despite the partial federal government shutdown.

State authorities are cautioning recipients that the early-arriving benefits aren’t a bonus and they need to budget them to last until their assistance cards are loaded again in March.

In Cincinnati, the Hamilton County Job and Family Services office plans social media posts, robo calls, phone recordings and the sharing of information with community partners and the news media to explain the situation. The county has some 100,000 recipients who will receive February benefits Wednesday.