Downey Statement on Early Distribution of SNAP Assistance Due to Government Shutdown

Food Benefits for February Available Starting Jan. 17

(TRENTON) – As the partial federal government shutdown persists a fourth week, Assemblywoman Joann Downey released the following statement alerting recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) of an opportunity to collect their February food benefits early:

“This government shutdown – now the longest in our country’s history – affects all Americans. But the impact on struggling Americans who rely on federal programs like SNAP to put food on the table is substantial,” said Downey (D-Monmouth). “Thankfully, the estimated 730,000 SNAP recipients in New Jersey will receive their February benefits early due to a provision in a prior budget bill that allows the federal government to make certain payments up to 30 days after the budget’s end. This means families scheduled to receive February assistance will have access to their benefits beginning January 17 on their Families First Card and can plan accordingly.

“But if this shutdown continues, there’s no guarantee funds will be available for March and beyond. Thousands of families would lose access to this crucial assistance that allows them to feed their children and stay healthy as they work through difficult times.

“That’s why I’ve introduced a measure, AR-218, condemning this senseless shutdown and urging Congress and the President to immediately reopen the government and provide funding for SNAP and other critical programs that help our nation’s most vulnerable citizens. I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting AR-218 and continue our efforts to fight hunger in New Jersey.”