Oklahoma joins states issuing February food benefits early

Posted at 5:51 AM, Jan 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-16 06:51:43-05

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Oklahoma is joining other states in giving out February food stamp benefits early because of the partial government shutdown.

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services announced Tuesday that those already receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, also known as food stamps, will begin receiving next month's benefits by Jan. 20. Benefits are loaded onto Electronic Benefit Transfer cards and can only be used at stores approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Department of Human Services 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, including neighboring Arkansas , have already announced distribution plans.

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

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