Recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits may have noticed their February allowance distributed early during the federal government shutdown. The U.S. Department of Agriculture instructed states to disperse benefits early, with most receiving them on January 17.
The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance says the funds are not a "bonus," and are meant to be used during the entire month. The OTDA says it has not yet received information from the federal government about March benefits.
Local recipients are now concerned how the change in distribution could affect their family.
"We don't know when we're going to get more," said Tanya Van Damme of Newark. "We don't know when the government shutdown is going to be over or when we are going to be able to receive more SNAP Benefits."
Over 60,000 households in Monroe County receive SNAP Benefits. A FAQ is available on the county's website.