SPRINGFIELD (Illinois News Network) — Those on food stamps in Illinois should get next month’s benefits by the end of the week, but leaders in Springfield are warning people to make them last.
The Federal government is releasing February’s food stamp benefits, officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program (SNAP), early. The partial Federal government shutdown will leave the United States Department of Agriculture without the authority to spend money next month.
In Illinois, Department Of Human Services Secretary James Dimas said that means people who get food stamps will get next month’s benefits by the end of the week.
“It’s going to be really important for people to understand this is early, not extra,” Dimas said. “These benefits have to last them through the end of February. And I think they can appreciate that Illinois is no place to be hungry at the end of February. So they need to make them last.”
State Rep. La Shawn Ford said people need to not blow through those benefits quickly, because there won’t be any more coming next month.
“We want to make sure that the clients in Illinois recognize that they may see what they think is a bonus,” Ford said. “It’s not a bonus. It’s an advancement for their February benefits.”
The USDA said there is no deal in place for March’s benefits yet.
About two million people in Illinois are on food stamps.
Reporting by Benjamin Yount
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