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February SNAP benefits coming early; Coloradans warned to make money stretch due to shutdown

Posted at 4:39 PM, Jan 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-16 18:39:36-05

DENVER – The Colorado Department of Human Services warned SNAP benefit recipients Wednesday that any new SNAP payments put on their EBT cards between Jan. 16 and 20 will have to last through the end of February and urged recipients to plan out their purchases carefully.

The deadline to re-certify benefits was pushed up by a week to this week because of the government shutdown and the Department of Agriculture’s inability to fund snap past Jan. 21 because of the ongoing funding impasse.

Most SNAP recipients will receive their benefits this week – ahead of when they typically would for February.

“The additional funds are intended to help clients with their February food purchases. No additional SNAP benefits will be allotted in February,” Department of Human Services spokesperson Mark Techmeyer said. “Participants should plan food purchases carefully throughout January and February so their food needs are met through the partial government shutdown.”

Thousands of people went to the DHS office earlier this week to get their paperwork in on top. Three local offices opened early and closed late in order to help people beat the deadline.

There are about 220,000 Coloradans who receive SNAP benefits, and there is some worry that if the partial shutdown continues through February that benefits might run dry altogether. The Department of Human Services said Wednesday it would share new information as soon as it becomes available.

In the meantime, the department suggests people who might need extra food resources to contact the following food banks or community groups: Colorado 2-1-1 (844-493-8255); Hunger Free Colorado (855-855-4626) or Colorado Benefits Center (855-871-2696).