New Jersey Distributes SNAP Benefits Early Amid Government Shutdown

TRENTON, N.J. (WCBS 880) — The continuing partial federal government shutdown had threatened food stamp distribution in New Jersey, but hungry people in the state caught a break on Friday.

“We're struggling, can't make it out here, we need help,” said federal employee Roseanne.

The New Jersey Department of Human Services announced that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for February have been successfully paid for despite the shutdown reaching its fourth week.

New Jersey has about 730,000 SNAP recipients.

The state joins a number of others that have distributed February food stamps almost two weeks early to avoid funds getting caught up in the shutdown.

“People, if they didn't have it, people would be suffering right about now. There would be a lot of looting going on, people robbing, stealing,” said one man.

Though, there may be no more food stamps in March if the shutdown continues.

The state Department of Human Services notes that these are not a bonus distribution, just early.

People will now have to budget them for six weeks instead of four.