February food stamps benefits to be issued in January

Because of the federal government shutdown, the Department of Health and Welfare will be issuing February benefits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on Sunday, Jan. 20.

All households approved and re-evaluated by Tuesday, Jan. 15, will receive their February food stamps on Jan. 20. Households that complete a re-evaluation and are approved after Jan. 15 for February will receive their benefits on their regular issuance date. The department is continuing to accept and process applications normally through January and February and doesn’t anticipate any delays in SNAP issuance.

Everyone who is eligible for SNAP benefits in February will receive their benefits. However, households that receive their February benefits in January will not receive an additional issuance in February. Recipients are encouraged to budget their food stamps to last until they receive their March benefits.

“This is a fluid time for federal government services,” said Julie Hammon, administrator of the Division of Welfare. “Until we know more, please consider a donation to your local food banks and pantries – February will be tough month for many because of the length of time between benefits.”

Letters to recipients were sent by first class mail on Wednesday, Jan. 16. Department staff also have been communicating with grocery stores and other community partners on the schedule change.

If recipients have questions about the early issuance or SNAP benefits in general, they can call the Idaho CareLine by dialing 2-1-1 in Idaho or the Self-Reliance call center at 1-877-456-1233.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is administered in the Division of Welfare in the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Benefits are paid entirely with federal funds. Learn more about the program here.

Media Contact:  Niki Forbing-Orr
Public Information Manager
(208) 334-0668 or Niki.Forbing-Orr@dhw.idaho.gov


Work continues on changes to delivery schedule for food stamp benefits

The workgroup met earlier this week to discuss the communications plan for the staggered issuance for benefits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP (also known as the Food Stamps Program).

Starting July 1, participants will receive their benefits based on the last number in the birth year of the cardholder. If a person was born on Dec. 30, 1970, for example. they would receive their benefits on the 10th day of the month. If they were born in 1972, they would receive them on the second day. Benefit will be distributed for the first 10 days of each month.

The group is working on emails, posters, fact sheets and other tools the Department of Health and Welfare, its partners, SNAP retailers and participants will use to exchange information about the schedule change over the next several months.  Continue reading “Work continues on changes to delivery schedule for food stamp benefits”

Idaho Foodbank estimates an additional 6-8 truckloads of food will be needed for change in SNAP issuance

Lots of communication and extra food donations at community pantries and the Idaho Foodbank will be needed as Idaho transitions from issuing benefits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on the first day of the month to issuing them over the first 10 days of the month.

Planning for the change continued this week as the multi-day transition work group met to determine how grocery stores and community organizations such as the Idaho Foodbank and other food pantries across the state would be affected, and what can be done to support them if SNAP recipients run out of food or are unaware that their benefits are not available before they shop.

“More than anything, we don’t want anyone to be surprised,” said Karen Vauk, president and CEO of the Idaho Foodbank. Continue reading “Idaho Foodbank estimates an additional 6-8 truckloads of food will be needed for change in SNAP issuance”