February benefits will now be distributed on January 16
The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration has been informed by the USDA the state must issue Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits for the month of February on Wednesday, January 16, 2019, rather than the previously-reported date of Saturday, January 19.
In Indiana, SNAP benefits are usually issued to recipients according to an alphabetical schedule over a 19 day period throughout the month. This one-time early benefit distribution was identified by USDA officials as a mechanism provide SNAP benefits during the partial federal government shutdown.
No SNAP benefits will be issued in the month of February, so recipients are strongly encouraged to budget their SNAP benefits to ensure the amount received provides for their food needs through the entire month of February. January benefits are being distributed according to the normal schedule. FSSA will continue to accept and process applications for benefits for January issuance through January 31. FSSA remains in contact with federal partners and will provide further updates if warranted.
For questions regarding SNAP or WIC, contact the Indiana FSSA office at 1-800-403-0864
Feeding America Statement on Government Shutdown
Attributed to Kate Leone, Chief Government Relations Officer, Feeding America
“Late yesterday, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced funding to continue critical federal nutrition programs through February. While Feeding America is relieved that American families who depend on programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP) will be able to continue to put food on the table next month, challenges remain.
“The process that allowed the Administration to fund SNAP benefits for the month of February cannot be replicated for additional months. In addition, we are already seeing an impact on families and individuals needing food who are experiencing hardship due to the shutdown. We anticipate further need as furloughed federal employees and contractors miss paychecks in the absence of a resolution, and the impact on household budgets could continue for many months after the loss of funds.
“For every meal our network provides, SNAP provides 12 and we cannot understate the importance of federal nutrition programs functioning seamlessly. Our nationwide network of member food banks stands at the ready in any crisis, and this shutdown is no different.”
What does the government shut down mean for me?
We know many of you have questions about how the government shutdown affects putting food on the table. We looked at food assistance programs, like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Women Infant Children (WIC) program, and other federal nutrition programs communities are using to answer your questions.
I am receiving SNAP benefits. What does the government shutdown mean for me?
You will still receive full SNAP benefits for January and February. However, SNAP recipients should expect to see February benefits loaded on their cards by January 20th, an earlier timeline than normal. This means individuals may have two months’ worth of benefits on their account in January. No additional benefits will be added in February. USDA is encouraging all participating SNAP recipients to plan their purchases carefully to help make sure benefits will help meet food needs through February.
Can I still apply for SNAP?
Yes. Through February, there should be no change to the process.
I am a federal worker who needs food assistance. Can I get SNAP benefits? Can I go to a food bank?
If you fit all eligibility criteria for SNAP you may receive SNAP benefits. In addition, food banks are opening their doors to accept furloughed federal workers or and other individuals impacted by the shutdown who need assistance.
I have been impacted by the government shutdown and am not a federal worker. Can I get SNAP benefits? Can I go to a food bank?
As mentioned above, food banks are opening their doors for furloughed federal workers or any other individuals impacted by the shutdown who need assistance. However, if you do not fall into this category, but are still affected by the shutdown (i.e someone who works in a federal worker area and has had hours cut) if you fit all eligibility criteria for SNAP you may apply to receive SNAP benefits.
I am a parent of a child getting school lunch. Will my child still get their meals?
Yes, your child will receive meals. School meals programs and afterschool meal programs will be funded through March.
I am a new parent who receives WIC benefits. Will there be an interruption in my benefits?
You will receive WIC benefits through the month of February. WIC clinics will remain open in the near term, though a prolonged shutdown could close clinics and limit benefits.
Will I still receive Meals on Wheels and other senior nutrition programs?
Yes. You will still receive Meals on Wheels. CSFP senior food box deliveries should continue through March.
I participate in the FDPIR program. What does the government shutdown mean for me?
FDPIR food will be delivered for February. However, funding to operate the program is not available for February. Recipients may see a disruption in receiving FDPIR.
Feeding America will continue our commitment to addressing hunger during this challenging time to ensure those struggling are able to put food on the table. If you have any questions, please reach out to the Feeding America Government Relations team at firstname.lastname@example.org.