Many locals anxious about future of federal food assistance

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Thousands of Southern Nevadans who rely on federal food assistance are keeping an anxious eye on the government shutdown.

Funding for SNAP is in place through the end of February, but beyond that, it remains uncertain. State welfare officials say they’re continuing to process SNAP applications, as usual.

“At this point, the agency is making every effort to approve cases and applications, prior to January 20, to ensure clients get February benefits early,” said Eduardo Ramirez, the Social Services manager at the State Welfare office on North Nellis Blvd.

Since many clients are now receiving February benefits early, however, Ramirez warns of potential problems. “It’s important for clients to understand,” said Ramirez, “they’re getting these benefits early, but they’re for the month of February.”

"They need to make sure they last through the end of February," he added, since that’s when SNAP funding could be in jeopardy if the federal shutdown hasn’t been resolved by then, or Congress fails to provide stopgap funding.

Ramirez says his staff is also making sure clients who need food assistance will know where to find it, in the event SNAP funding is disrupted.

“We have a list of resources they can go to,” he said. “We can’t guarantee that services will be provided, but we can certainly direct them to the right place.”

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