South Carolina

February food stamps will come early in SC because of the government shutdown

The South Carolina Department of Social Services is issuing February SNAP benefits early because of the government shutdown.
The South Carolina Department of Social Services is issuing February SNAP benefits early because of the government shutdown. AP

Because of the federal government shutdown, South Carolina will issue the February Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits early, the Department of Social Services said in a news release.

The benefits will be made available on SNAP recipients’ EBT cards on Thursday, DSS reported in the release. The benefits will go to about 231,000 households.

The SNAP program “offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities,” according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

These will be the only benefits issued in February by DSS, regardless of what happens with the government shutdown, according to the release.

That means recipients will have to make sure what they receive Thursday will last until March. And there is no word from DSS on a plan for issuing benefits in March.

“This is not a bonus payment,” DSS stated in the release. “Households are strongly encouraged to carefully plan and budget their benefits accordingly.”

In addition to the news about the early SNAP benefits, DSS also announced it will “continue to accept and process new applications and recertifications as normal,” per instructions from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or USDA.

If your household is due for recertification in January, you will not be included in Thursday’s early release of benefits, DSS said in the release.

“Any SNAP recipient whose recertification is approved after (Wednesday) will receive their February benefits on their normal monthly issuance date in February,” DSS stated in the news release.

For more information, call DSS Connect at 800-616-1309.

Maya McDowell of Raleigh, mother of two, said food stamps purchased two to three weeks of food for her family.

Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.
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