The United States Department of Agriculture enacted a partial solution, ensuring SNAP recipients will receive benefits to last through the end of February. SNAP benefits for February will be issued in January, and Arizona has pledged to ensure this happens. Nearly 320,000 Arizona families will receive these benefits beginning on Jan. 17. Please note that these are SNAP benefits for the month of February, and not additional benefits.
These benefits will become available based on the first letter of the family’s last name:
1/17: A – F
1/18: G – L
1/19: M – R
1/20: S – Z
Other benefits will be affected as well. The Child Nutrition Program will be funded through March, as well as WIC. People who have pending applications, information changes, and benefit redeterminations for SNAP are encouraged to get all the required materials and applications in as soon as possible so they can receive their benefits by Jan. 20.
Food banks across the state are preparing to serve a higher volume of people if needed. They will be providing families and individuals with emergency assistance for as long as possible. St. Mary's Food Bank and The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona are taking extra steps to ensure everyone gets the food they need. To find your nearest food bank, click here. Double Up Food Bucks remains available at all participating locations across the state.
With this early disbursement, DES is encouraging people on SNAP to budget as well as they can and try to extend their benefits for 45 days (or until the end of February). AZDES is encouraging buying in bulk and freezing items. Take a look at our blog on freezing foods for extra tips. Check out our website for more budget-friendly tips and recipes.
Double Up Arizona is here to ensure all individuals and families on SNAP have plenty of information on how to budget and stretch their food dollars through this ongoing government shutdown. Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter for updates and additional resources.