HELENA — Montana is issuing February nutrition assistance payments early due to the federal government shutdown.
Low-income residents should see their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program payments for February show up on their electronic benefit transfer cards on Thursday.
The Department of Public Health and Human Services emphasizes these are early payments, not extra payments, and must stretch through February.
The US Department of Agriculture authorized states to make early payments because the agency is funded for 30 days after the Dec. 22 government shutdown.
Montana pays about $12.2 million a month to 117,000 recipients.
The agency is getting the word out via its website, social media and recorded phone calls to recipients along with updating the recording on the phone line people can call to check their balances. DPHHS is also asking grocery stores to post fliers and is asking tribes to notify members.
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