Alabama paying February food stamp benefits early

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( — Alabama food stamp recipients will see February benefits on their cards within the next five days, a workaround required by the ongoing government shutdown.

Barry Spear with the Alabama Department of Human Resources said benefits will be on EBT cards prior to or on Jan. 20. The benefits aren’t an extra payment, but an early distribution to allow the government to fund the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps, during the government shutdown.

The USDA announced the plan last week as concerns over February’s food benefits grew.

Spear said it’s important people remember the early benefits must last through February.

“There isn’t any race to use these benefits. They aren’t going anywhere. Once the money is on the cards, it’s there,” he said. He advised, however, that recipients limit their purchase of perishable items – including fresh fruits, vegetables and milk – to what can be consumed with the time of the benefits.

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