Food stamp funding available for February but beyond that, is unknown


The 1.8 million Pennsylvanians who depend on food stamps to put food on the table for themselves and their families will see benefits for February loaded on their electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards on Friday and be available for use on Saturday.

But the state Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller said that will be the only benefit payment Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients will receive for February and should be prepared to make it last in the event the partial federal government shutdown continues.

Payments beyond February will be determined based on the availability of United States Department of Agriculture funds, according to the state Department of Human Services. The department awaits information from the federal government USDA on plans for March benefits.

“SNAP is the nation’s most important anti-hunger program. Without it, 1.8 million Pennsylvanians would have greater trouble affording food for themselves and their families,” Miller said in a news release. “This early payment allows us to get SNAP recipients their benefits for February, but they will have to make this payment last for an undefined period as the shutdown continues.”

The early payment follows a Jan. 8 announcement from the notifying states that the partial federal government shutdown would not affect benefits for February, but benefits must be issued by Jan. 20. The department worked with its vendors to ensure the benefits were loaded on recipients EBT cards, Miller said.

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