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February food and nutrition benefits come early

Because of the federal shutdown, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has instructed states to issue February’s Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) benefits by Sunday, Jan. 20. Benefits would normally be available to families between Feb. 3 and 21.

“We are working closely with county departments of social services and our federal partners to ensure participants and retailers have little to no interruption of FNS services due to the shutdown,” said Tara Myers, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary for Human Services.

FNS is a federal food assistance program that provides low-income families with funds to purchase food needed for a nutritional, adequate diet. Once February’s FNS funds are distributed, they will be available for use. However, participants should be aware that since there will be no FNS benefits issued in the month of February, they should plan accordingly.

Despite the federal shutdown, DHHS projects to have sufficient funds through February, not only for FNS, but also for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Women, Infants and Children program (WIC). However, if the federal shutdown continues, funding for these services could run out after February.

For more information, contact Dare County Department of Health and Human Services Division of Social Services at 252-475-5500.

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