CAMDEN, NJ—Camden County officials are reminding residents that the SNAP benefits issued today are to be used for the month of February.

The SNAP [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program] benefits have been issued early due to the ongoing federal government shutdown, and Camden County SNAP recipients’ EBT cards should have been all reloaded today for the month of February, according to  Camden County Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez, liaison to the county’s department of health and human services.

“This is your money for the month of February — this is not intended for you to use now. This is intended for you to use for the month of February,” said Rodriguez.

Sign Up for E-News

In Camden County about 30,000 residents rely on the SNAP program, according to Rodriguez.

“Our concern is making sure people have food, so we want to make sure that they have money on their card,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said that as of now, there will be no SNAP benefits distributed on March 1 if the federal government continues to be shutdown. If the federal government reopens before then, the benefits distributed today will still be the only benefits SNAP recipients receive for the month of February.

“This is not reversible, so come Feb. 1 their EBT cards will not be reloaded,” Rodriguez said.

Statewide, there are about 730,000 SNAP recipients.

“Due to President Trump’s shutdown, numerous federal programs that provide critical services to residents of New Jersey could be severely impacted,” said Governor Phil Murphy in a statement on Friday. “If the shutdown continues past February, 730,000 SNAP recipients will be affected. New Jersey’s top priority is to stand with our residents, and we urge the federal government to end this shutdown immediately.”

“This will be the SNAP benefit for the entire month of February, so recipients should budget with that in mind,” said New Jersey Department of Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson. “We urge the Trump Administration to end the shutdown and fund these critical services, but SNAP recipients can expect their February benefit – just earlier than usual. Recipients should be aware that they’ll be receiving it early and there is no guarantee from the federal government benefits will be available beyond February, should the shutdown continue.”

SNAP is a federal program administered by the Department of Human Services.

Find TAPinto Camden on Facebook and Twitter. Download the TAPinto mobile app for Android or iOS.