Maryland Ensures Vulnerable Residents Receive SNAP Benefits In February During Ongoing Federal Government Shutdown

BALTIMORE, MD - As the partial federal government shutdown continues, the Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS) is working to assist vulnerable Marylanders through this uncertain time. Today, the Department announced it will be able to provide February Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to recipients in Maryland.

Referred to as the Food Supplement Program (FSP) in Maryland, there are on average more than 650,000 Marylanders receiving approximately $75 million in FSP assistance each month.

“Our primary concern is supporting and providing relief to vulnerable Marylanders during this unpredictable time,” said DHS Secretary Lourdes Padilla. “We continue to explore the options available to the state in order to best support our residents and local communities.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the federal agency that funds SNAP/FSP program, has directed Maryland and other states to issue February benefits earlier than usual. As a result, FSP recipients will get both their January and February benefits on or before January 20. In advance of this federal disbursement, the Maryland Department of Human Services is taking a number of steps to ensure that its clients are notified and prepared for this change in service delivery.

As funding for SNAP has not been appropriated by the federal government beyond February, it is critical to understand the potential hardship that a prolonged federal shutdown could impose upon those in need. As state leaders continue to call for an end to the federal shutdown, the Maryland Department of Human Services stands ready to assist FSP recipients at this uncertain time. The department is mailing letters to all SNAP recipients in Maryland and will continue to provide information and updates as soon as they become available on its website, Facebook, and Twitter.