SNAP benefits will be issued March 1 in Illinois

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Illinois food stamp recipients will receive their SNAP benefits ahead of schedule in March.

The Illinois Department of Human Services says all SNAP benefits will be issued by March 1. The adjustment will help close the gap for Illinoisans who may be stretching benefits since January as a result of the partial federal government shutdown.

“Our communities shouldn’t have to suffer because of the federal shutdown, and we’ll continue to do all we can at the state level so that Illinoisans don’t see a disruption in their SNAP benefits,” said Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker. “Our plan will reduce the waiting time for benefits for SNAP recipients so our vulnerable residents won’t have to worry about whether the shutdown will prevent them from accessing these services.”

IDHS plans to issue March benefits ahead of schedule, April benefits between April 1-10 and May benefits will be on the regular schedule.

March's SNAP benefits were funded through a recent federal stopgap budget, while funding for SNAP benefits in April and May depend on a new federal budget deal being reached.

IDHS says the United States Department of Agriculture funded SNAP differently during the last government shutdown, and benefits intended for February were issued in January.