Arkansas residents eligible to receive food stamps will be able to get their February benefits early because of the partial federal government shutdown, officials said.
The state Department of Human Services, through its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program, will begin issuing February’s benefits on Thursday in an effort to ensure funding is available, according to a news release from the agency.
"This is not an additional payment, so [the department] is encouraging participants to budget accordingly for food purchases," the release said. "Benefits will not be issued again until March, if funds are available from the federal government at that time."
As of Dec. 1, 151,283 households in Arkansas participated in the SNAP program, the release said. The program provides nearly $40 million in assistance to participants across the state each month, officials said.