Many questions have come into the GFIA office regarding the federal government shutdown and future SNAP funding.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced a plan to provide full benefits for participants in USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for the month of February.
When USDA's funding expired on December 21, 2018, SNAP benefits for January were fully funded. States have already received that money and have been distributing it to participants. Since the lapse in appropriations, USDA has been reviewing options available to the department for funding February benefits without an additional appropriation from Congress.
To protect SNAP participants' access for February, USDA is working with states to issue February benefits earlier than usual.
USDA will rely on a provision of the just-expired Continuing Resolution (CR), which provides an appropriation for programs like SNAP and child nutrition to incur obligations for program operations within 30 days of the CR's expiration.
States will have until January 20th to request and implement the early issuance. Once the early issuances are made, the February benefits will be made available to SNAP participants at that time. (The GFIA will inform you as soon as the details have been finalized by state officials.)
USDA has also ensured that the other major nutrition assistance programs have sufficient funding to continue operations into February.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) has prior year funding, which USDA will begin to provide to states this week to facilitate February benefits.
The child nutrition programs, including school meals and after-school programs have funding available to continue operations through March.
I recognize that this is not at all ideal for recipients and retailers, but this plan will ensure that your customers will have access to their funds. (Over $182 million dollars were distributed in December) Also, I asked if the remaining January SNAP benefits will remain on the same schedule, and will let you know as soon as I get the answer.
Please email or call me if you have any questions.
404 819 7744 cell
770 438 7744 office
Hope to see you at the legislative reception on January 29th!