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SNAP funded through February despite shutdown

USDA will be giving money allotted to states by January 20th

Posted: Jan. 11, 2019 9:31 PM

MASON CITY, Iowa - The shutdown is impacting thousands of people in Iowa and Minnesota.

For food stamp or SNAP beneficiaries, their benefits are currently safe, as the Trump administration has said this week that the program will be funded through February should the shutdown continue. In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says they will give states money allotted for food stamps a bit early than normal by January 20th.

But depending on how long it lasts, those on the program could see a $0 balance.

Dale Rotzinger was a truck driver for nearly 20 years, but because of a disability, he no longer hits the open road and qualifies for food stamps. He's already seen his benefits cut down from $78 to $15 a month, which leaves him with very few choices on what to buy. If there's no money for SNAP, he's trying to figure out what to do next.

"I'm gonna just have to find me something to do. And the way I'm going to do it, what I gotta figure out, if I get back in the trucking business, I'll just buy a truck of my own and I'll...start not asking anybody for a government handout."

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, about 366,000 Iowa residents take part in the program, and in Minnesota, that number is a bit higher at 454,000 residents, as of 2017. Iowans on SNAP collectively received around $482 million in benefits, while Minnesota recipients received around $600 million.

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