SNAP Retailers Urged to Inform SNAP Beneficiaries of Early Benefits

As the current partial government shutdown continues into its fourth week, one of the lingering concerns that may ultimately help bring politicians together to reopen the government is the potential for SNAP beneficiaries to lose out on their benefits if the government is not reopened. (The Department of Agriculture (USDA), which administers the SNAP program, is not currently funded.) To avoid this issue for the month of February, USDA will be distributing February benefits in the month of January; no new benefits will be distributed in February. 
 
This scenario raises the potential for SNAP beneficiaries to mismanage their benefits due to the unorthodox timing of receiving them. To help minimize scenarios where low-income Americans run out of money for food (assuming the government shutdown continues indefinitely), USDA has developed a standard message for SNAP retailers to share with SNAP beneficiaries. This message can be posted on store bulletin boards, near the entrance, point of sale, or any other place a store manager deems appropriate:
 
February SNAP Was Delivered Early!  Customers who use SNAP EBT* should keep in mind that February food dollars will be added in the middle of January this year.  This means that you may have two months’ worth of food dollars on your account this month. No food dollars will be added in February.  The early food dollars are meant to help with next month’s food.  We encourage our SNAP-participating customers to plan their purchases carefully so that they have money available to meet their food needs.
 
 *NOTE: "SNAP EBT" can be replaced with the State's name for SNAP (for example, "the Lone Star card," or "the Independence Card," etc.) where that's preferable. 
David Fialkov's photo

David Fialkov

David Fialkov is the Vice President of Government Relations, as well as the Legislative and Regulatory Counsel, at NATSO. In this capacity, Mr. Fialkov directs NATSO's legislative, regulatory, and legal strategy on a range of issues, including transportation, energy and fuels, labor, data security, and taxes. Mr. Fialkov also oversees NATSO's political engagement program, including individualized legal and political counsel to member companies. Prior to joining NATSO, Mr. Fialkov was the senior associate in the Government Affairs and Public Policy practice at the law firm of Steptoe and Johnson in Washington, D.C. At Steptoe, Mr. Fialkov advised clients on legislative, regulatory, and political issues, as well as legal concerns. His primary clients included trade associations representing the motor fuel wholesale and retail industries, including the National Association of Convenience Stores and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America. Mr. Fialkov's focus was not only on the motor fuels business, but also the litany of other issues that retailers confront, including labor matters, foodservice issues, healthcare and employment issues, tax matters and data security. Prior to joining Steptoe, Mr. Fialkov graduated with honors from George Washington University Law School. He received his B.S. Summa cum laude with highest honors from Clark University in Worcester, MA. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife Allison and daughter Lilah. More
Source:
Web-Only Content

Tell Us What You Think

Back to Food & Tobacco