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Food stamps guaranteed through February, USDA says

The US Department of Agriculture will continue providing food stamps to millions of Americans through Februa...

Posted: Jan 9, 2019 8:40 AM
Updated: Jan 9, 2019 8:40 AM

The US Department of Agriculture will continue providing food stamps to millions of Americans through February, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced Tuesday.

The agency initially guaranteed funding for the program, which serves more than 38 million people, only until the end of January if the partial government shutdown isn't resolved sooner.

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The department says it is now using a provision allowing it to make obligated payments within 30 days of a government funding lapse, and is working with states to issue February's food stamp benefits -- which are expected to total $4.8 billion -- by January 20.

The shutdown began after funding ran out December 21.

This move does not draw down on the $3 billion the agency has in reserve for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, as food stamps are formally known.

Perdue told reporters he hopes the announcement will relieve the confusion and anxiety over benefits running out after this month.

As for March, he said there is ample time for Congress to send President Donald Trump a spending bill that he can sign, noting that Trump has been clear he expects to see funding for border security.

The agency will look at all available options for providing assistance if the shutdown has not been resolved in time for March payments, said Brandon Lipps, an acting deputy undersecretary at the agency.

This is not the first time the department has issued benefits early, though previous instances have involved natural disasters, such as hurricanes.

Other federal food assistance programs that support tens of millions of low-income Americans will also continue at least through February, said Lipps.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, known as WIC, and the department's food distribution programs are funded through next month. The child nutrition programs, which include school breakfasts and lunches and after-school meals, are set through March, Lipps said.

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Reported Deaths: 1060
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin8514616
Ramsey3075128
Stearns203013
Nobles15445
Anoka142970
Dakota134957
Washington64532
Olmsted63410
Kandiyohi4971
Rice4622
Scott4362
Clay42728
Mower3452
Wright3202
Todd3190
Sherburne2462
Carver2182
Benton1783
Steele1600
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St. Louis11814
Pine890
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Lyon570
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Pope90
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Redwood50
Renville50
Red Lake40
Grant40
Lac qui Parle30
Clearwater30
Traverse30
Houston20
Hubbard20
Roseau20
Lake10
Kittson10
Stevens10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 19669

Reported Deaths: 555
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk4236133
Woodbury276136
Black Hawk174745
Linn95379
Dallas91623
Marshall89616
Buena Vista8100
Johnson6149
Wapello59712
Muscatine55741
Crawford5282
Tama40327
Scott36110
Dubuque34619
Louisa34511
Sioux2830
Pottawattamie2698
Jasper26017
Washington1898
Wright1780
Warren1350
Plymouth1332
Allamakee1204
Story1161
Mahaska9510
Poweshiek908
Henry711
Bremer696
Des Moines651
Boone650
Clinton641
Taylor560
Clarke560
Guthrie513
Cedar481
Benton431
Hamilton430
Webster421
Monroe385
Shelby370
Jones360
Clayton343
Osceola340
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Iowa330
Marion320
Cherokee310
Jefferson300
Cerro Gordo291
Madison292
Lee270
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Monona250
Winneshiek240
Lyon240
Davis230
Harrison230
Dickinson210
Sac200
Grundy200
Mills190
Floyd191
Humboldt181
Clay170
Delaware171
Hardin170
Butler171
Lucas170
Emmet160
Hancock160
Appanoose143
Ida140
Page140
Franklin140
Keokuk140
Pocahontas130
Greene130
Howard120
Cass120
Audubon121
Jackson120
Carroll110
Winnebago110
Chickasaw100
Kossuth100
Adair90
Van Buren90
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Palo Alto70
Fremont40
Ringgold40
Mitchell40
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