Thursday, January 10, 2019

USDA announces plan to fund SNAP through February

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced a plan Tuesday to ensure that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients will still get their benefits for February even if the government shutdown continues through next month. "White House officials told reporters last week that SNAP benefits couldn’t be paid out for February because the program wasn’t funded past January, and that a $3 billion reserve fund wouldn’t be sufficient to cover the entire month," Ryan McCrimmon reports for Politico.

Perdue's plan won't require tapping into reserve funding. Instead, he will take advantage of a provision in the last continuing resolution that allows the Department of Agriculture to make already-obligated payments within 30 days after the funding expired. Since the continuing resolution expired Dec. 21, February's SNAP benefits will be funded Jan. 20 instead of in early February.

Other food programs appear secure for now; the Women, Infants and Children program has enough funding for February, and school nutrition programs have enough funding for February and March, McCrimmon reports.

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