Millions of Americans relying on government assistance will see a major bump in their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits this month.
Still, the extra money isn’t exactly extra, and they may come at a significant cost.
February SNAP monies have been added to accounts to ensure families receive much-needed benefits before the program runs out of money.
Come March, many of those families may not receive any SNAP benefits whatsoever.
When the shutdown began, SNAP had failed to receive its normal appropriation. According to Karen Heng, deputy director at the Department of Health and Human Services, February was the last month for which they were able to secure full funding.
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With the partial government shutdown now into its second month, nutritional benefits remain in limbo while Trump and Democrats continue to battle over the status of the administration’s proposed border wall.
No additional funds will be issued in March, and the timing of March benefits, should they be available, is unknown, though new households can still apply for and receive benefits through February.
The partial government shutdown has yet to impact those receiving nutritional assistance through school meals, WIC and food pantries.