Important information regarding SNAP benefits during the government shutdownA Special Message from Daniel Giacomi, Department of Social Services SNAP Program Administration Manager:As I am sure you are aware, the partial shutdown of the federal government is on its 24th day. Because of the lack of federal funding due to the extended shutdown, over 380,000 residents in Connecticut were at risk of not receiving their February food assistance. When it became clear that the partial shutdown would not end quickly, DSS began working with the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and other stakeholders to insure issuance of February benefits occurred. After initial conversations, FNS determined that the best course of action was to provide SNAP benefits to all eligible members early.FNS then instructed all states to accomplish this goal by providing the early February issuance of SNAP benefits by Sunday January 20th. If a household has already been determined eligible to receive February SNAP benefits, they will see the deposit on their EBT card by this day. We expect all February benefits to be available on the same day - there will not be a staggered release. This is not an "extra" or "bonus" benefit; clients will not get any more benefits in early February. We encourage staff, when speaking with clients, to strongly recommend that they budget their SNAP benefits accordingly to ensure the amount received provides for their food needs through the entire month of February. Note that the early issuance of benefits only applies to SNAP; cash benefits will not be affected and will be available the first three days of February.Going forward, the agency will continue to function under normal procedures including the processing of new applications, periodic report forms, renewals (both those outstanding and those due in February), reinstatements, and the re-opening of cases after January 20th and into February. There is funding within the federal SNAP contingency for these cases. Here is a list of questions and answers that I encourage you to read through as it provides critical information to questions you may have as well as those our clients may ask. Also, here is a copy of the notice mailed to our SNAP eligible caseload. In addition to this notice, information about the early issuance will be posted on the DSS website - www.ct.gov/SNAP - IVR, MyAccount Client Portal, Lobby televisions, posters, or fliers in all of our field offices, and within emails sent to MyAccount users.Thank you,Daniel R. Giacomi
Additional Information Regarding SNAP from End Hunger CT!'s Executive Director:
From Shannon Yearwood, Executive Director of End Hunger CT! :Like you, we are concerned about access to nutrition programs through this prolonged federal government shutdown and we want to keep you informed of what we know.
SNAP (formerly known as
Food Stamps): The CT Department of Social Services is working hard to make sure that people currently receiving SNAP benefits will receive their February SNAP benefits on or before January 20, 2019. February benefits are arriving earlier than usual and there will be no additional SNAP benefits issued in February. If you believe you or someone you know is eligible for SNAP, urge them to apply (check if you may be eligible now at www.ctsnap.org or call toll free 866.974.SNAP (7627)). SNAP applications will be processed as normal through the month of February - current SNAP recipients receiving benefits early does not change the regular SNAP application process and granting of benefits through February. Please refer to this helpful information from CT Department of Social Services to learn more.
School and Child Nutrition: The Connecticut State Department of
Education is partnering closely with U.S. Department of Agriculture to ensure that all school and child nutrition programs (School Breakfast, School Lunch, At-Risk Afterschool Meals, Special Milk Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, etc.) can operate through the month of March.
SNAP and School Meals - a
Critical Partnership: If you are a student living in a household with anyone receiving
SNAP benefits, you will be automatically able to receive school meals at no
cost to you or your household. Although eligibility for school meals takes
annual income into consideration, SNAP uses monthly income (assets are not
counted - only income). Therefore, even if you do not think your students
qualify for free or reduced price school meals, you may still be eligible for
SNAP which would also mean your students will be able to receive free meals at
school. If your salary has not been paid, if you are furloughed, or if you are
between jobs, SNAP can be a critical link for you and your children to
important nutrition programs. It doesn't hurt to see if you may be eligible
today (www.ctsnap.org or 866.974.SNAP (7627)
Food Banks and Emergency
Food: Our fantastic partners at Foodshare and Connecticut Food Bank are coordinating with the CT Department of Social Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture to make sure that the food pantries, shelters, mobile sites, and partners across the state will still have food to distribute to people at risk of hunger throughout the month of February and beyond. Due to the government shutdown, the payments the food banks typically receive to help defray the costs of distributing these critical food resources is not being released. Please help all of our organizations keep these efforts strong by considering donating during this time to any of them.