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March SNAP Arriving Early for Most
Nebraska Ag Connection - 02/14/2019

Some Nebraskans who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for food stability will see their benefits arrive early on their electronic balance transfer (EBT) cards again in March. Typically, benefits are delivered to SNAP recipients between the first and fifth of each month, depending on the last digit of their social security numbers, but all certified SNAP households will receive their next issuance March 1.

"The United States Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), which provides SNAP funding to states, has indicated that it does not want SNAP recipients to go more than 40 days without receiving additional benefits," said Matthew Wallen, director of the Division of Children and Family Services (CFS), which administers Nebraska's SNAP program. "The early March issuance is to meet that request, after February benefits arrived on EBT cards before January 20th."

The February early issuance was due to the partial federal government shutdown. The early March issuance will proceed, regardless of whether the federal government shuts down when the continuing resolution currently funding federal operations expires February 15. Benefits will continue to be issued throughout March as additional recertifications and new applications are processed.

Meantime, CFS continues to advise SNAP recipients to mindfully manage SNAP dollars and to utilize local food pantries and other alternative food sources to maintain food stability.

"There were concerns that the February early issuance would result in some SNAP households running out of benefits before the next SNAP funds arrive," said Karen Heng, who heads up the CFS SNAP program. "We have many partners who can provide additional support to Nebraska residents, should that happen."

DHHS officials are encouraging anyone who needs food assistance to turn to the many food pantries and mobile food banks available in the metro areas and across the state. A partial listing of locations and times can be found at https://bit.ly/2SREKQv and https://bit.ly/2GER9kl.

More than 73,000 eligible, low-income households receive a total of $18.2 million in SNAP benefits each month in Nebraska.

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