February Food Assistance to be Issued Early

Montgomery County residents who receive food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will have their benefit cards loaded early for February. This action will occur between Jan. 16 and Jan. 31, 2019.

Prompted by the United States Department of Agriculture, this action is being taken in response to the ongoing partial government shutdown. The early-issuance benefits are not additional or bonus funds. No additional food assistance benefits should be anticipated in February. Food assistance recipients are encouraged to plan accordingly, so that they will have money available to meet their food needs that should be covered by the February benefit issuance.

“These benefits are vitally important to thousands of Montgomery County families, and this should relieve some worry about the coming weeks,” said Michelle Niedermier, Director of Montgomery County Department of Job and Family Services. “We are doing everything we can to avoid confusion and communicate clearly to our citizens. Recipients will need to plan purchases carefully to ensure these additional funds meet their food needs normally covered by the February benefit issuance.”

Roughly 70,000 Montgomery County residents currently receive food assistance. Job and Family Services workers will continue to accept applications for SNAP at The Job Center, they will keep determining eligibility, and interviews and re-certifications will happen per established timelines.

“We anticipate additional guidance from the Department of Agriculture or the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services should the shutdown continue beyond Feb. 1,” Niedermier said. “We have received no notification that any other public assistance programs are affected by the shutdown at his time.”