The 38 million Americans on food stamps will be getting their February benefits a bit early because of the government shutdown, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced in a briefing with reporters on Tuesday.
Due to concerns that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP or food stamps, could run out of money in the latter half of February, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will urge states to pay out the benefit by Jan. 20 at the latest, after they receive billions of dollars from the federal government for the program, the secretary said.
“This is very similar to what we have done in disaster situations such as hurricanes,” Perdue told reporters.
This fulfills the USDA’s obligation to pay out the benefit for February, Perdue said, which should be “ample time for Congress to act.”
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