SNAP households will receive 50 percent of March benefits on Feb. 22

Because of the partial federal government shutdown that concluded Jan. 25, Ohio Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households will receive 50 percent of their March benefits on Feb. 22 and the remainder on their assigned March issuance date.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service instructed states to make February SNAP benefits available to recipients by Jan. 20, since it was unknown during the shutdown whether funds would be available in February. In Ohio, February SNAP benefits were issued on Jan. 16.

Because of the early February issuance, Ohio plans to provide half of families’ March benefit amounts this month and the rest in March. Ohio expects to return to the standard cycle of benefits issuance in April, barring another shutdown.

ODJFS administers SNAP in partnership with the county JFS offices. Households may qualify for benefits if their income is at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. In Ohio, recipients use an electronic benefits transfer card, known as the Ohio Direction Card, to buy unprepared food and food products. Recipients with questions should contact their county JFS office.