Eligible clients in West Virginia will receive their February Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits early because of the partial government shutdown.
According to a release from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, the DHHR Bureau for Children and Families will issue the early release SNAP benefits on Jan. 20.
“It’s important to note that SNAP recipients will not receive SNAP benefits in February,” Linda Watts, commissioner of DHHR’s Bureau for Children and Families, said. “We urge families to budget as necessary for the month of February since this payment will come earlier than usual.”
This announcement has many people who rely on the assistance, worried about rationing their benefits.
Cindy Bays spends most of her time volunteering at the Switzer Center on Charleston’s West Side. She says she relies on SNAP assistance to make sure she has enough food on the table for her grandson.
“I feed a lot of kids and my grandson,” said Bays. “I mean it is an every day where is it gonna come from struggle.”
While Bays said she is grateful that February’s assistance will be made available, she worries about what happens if the shutdown continues.
“With certain foods you can stretch it and make it last longer but I don’t want to rely on that and as long as this continues it is going to continue to impact a lot of people.”