The North Dakota Department of Human Services announced today that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for March will be issued to qualifying low-income households on March 1. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide funding for next month’s benefits even if there is a second partial federal government shutdown.
In North Dakota, SNAP benefits are normally issued to electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards on the first day of each month. Due to the recent partial federal government shutdown, February benefits were issued early to qualifying households on or before January 20.
“With about three weeks to go before March benefits are issued, it is important for households to continue to plan and budget accordingly to cover food purchases through the end of February,” said Michele Gee, the department’s Economic Assistance Division director.
The department continues to monitor the situation and remains in contact with USDA partners as funding for SNAP benefits beyond March is unknown at this time. Any information regarding future benefits will be communicated by the department.
Gee said county social service offices continue to accept and process SNAP applications, and households determined eligible for the program will receive benefits on March 1.
Local food pantries and charitable feeding sites in North Dakota may be able to help people with immediate food needs. The Great Plains Food Bank has location information online at www. greatplainsfoodbank.org/our-partners/ partner-agency-network.html. Qualifying households can check their account balances before making food purchases by calling the North Dakota EBT customer service line at 800- 630-4655 or by using the new ebtEDGE mobile app that is available in the Apple Store and Google Play Store. For general updates about the program including future issuance of benefits, individuals can visit www.nd.gov/ dhs.
Qualifying households with questions about their benefits can contact their county social service office. Contact information is online at www. nd.gov/dhs/locations/countysocialserv/. The federally-funded program serves qualifying low-income individuals. Clients typically include children, low-wage working families, people with disabilities and seniors on limited and fixed incomes. In January 2019, the program provided almost 24,000 low-income North Dakota households with about $5.8 million in benefits to purchase food at approved grocers and other vendors.