Oklahoma joins states issuing February food benefits early


The Oklahoma Department of Human Services will distribute February's food assistance benefits early due to the partial government shutdown.

The agency says those already receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, also known as food stamps, will begin receiving February benefits by Jan. 20. Benefits are loaded onto Electronic Benefit Transfer cards and can only be used at U.S. Department of Agriculture-approved grocery retailers.

DHS Director Ed Lake said employees will work overtime to process case renewals and applications.

Last week, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told states to issue the February benefits early and several states have already announced distribution plans.

Lake says about 610,000 Oklahomans receive SNAP benefits each month.

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