NC food stamp recipients to get benefits early due to government shutdown
GREENSBORO, NC (WFMY) — North Carolina food stamp recipients will get their February benefits early because of the partial federal government shutdown, state officials say.
Eligible customers of the Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) will get all their benefits for next month on Sunday. They are normally available between the 3 and 21 of the month.
The Guilford County Department of Social Services and NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) say they’re working with retailers to try and prevent interruption of services to recipients.
Participants are told to plan accordingly, since there will be no FNS benefits issued in February.
Despite the shutdown DHHS says they have sufficient funds through February for the food stamp program, WIC and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
They also warn that if the shutdown continues, funding for these services could run out after February.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has told all states to issue February’s benefits on or before Jan. 20.
The Trump administration is able to clear February’s SNAP benefits early because the roughly $4.8 billion price tag has already been set aside through the expiring government spending bill.
However, if the shutdown runs until March, the United States Department of Agriculture would have to dip into reserve funds. Right now, it only has $3 billion in contingency money — not enough to cover the whole month.