PREBLE COUNTY — Last week, Preble County Job & Family Services Director Becky Sorrell sent out the following notice regarding the effects of the government shutdown on local families receiving food assistance.
In an email, Sorrell noted: “I am writing to notify you of the effects the current government shut-down will have on our customers who receive food assistance benefits in Preble County. We currently have approximately 4000 food assistance recipients in Preble County.
“As it stands right now, all food assistance (SNAP) recipients who are eligible for food assistance and are authorized to receive February benefits, will receive those benefits. They will receive their February benefit early, prior to January 20th. Those recipients who have reported changes, are due for a recertification, or are new recipients who apply prior to January 30th will get their benefit the day following the authorization of their benefits.”
Sorrell continued: “This is significant and important to know because our recipients will be receiving their benefits as an early issuance. They will receive their February benefit in January and will not get any further food assistance benefit until March. The recipients may not realize that they received their February benefit early and will need to budget their allotment to make it to March. The recipients only notification will be flyers we have posted and the news outlets.
“According to ODJFS, February benefits will go out early regardless if the shut-down ends. It has been put into motion and will move forward regardless of any changes that happen today or over the weekend. We do not know if anyone who applies after Jan. 30 will be able to be authorized for food assistance at this time. OWF cash benefits, PRC, and Child Care are not currently affected.
“Preble County Job and Family Services staff are working to ensure that all the mail we have in the agency is being worked quickly to ensure all changes are entered prior to Jan. 30. Staff are reaching out to recipients who need to turn in documentation or have interviews to attempt to ensure their benefits are able to be authorized prior to the Jan. 30, deadline. We expect our recipients to have a lot of questions and concerns about their benefits. We believe and have been informed by ODJFS that all of our food assistance recipients who are currently authorized for a recurring food assistance benefit in February, will receive their benefit.”
Anyone having questions can call 937-472-2549.