LUCAS COUNTY, (WTOL) -Lucas County residents who are a part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), can expect their February benefits early due to the government shutdown.

SNAP recipients' February benefits will be available on their EBT card, Wednesday January 16. This will count as the benefit for entire month of February and no addtional food dollars will be added for the month.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) instructed the Ohio Department of Job and Services to issue February benefits early because of a provision in the expired federal spending bill that allows the USDA to continue to fund some of its programs for 30 days beyond when the department had to shut down.

The USDA is working with each state to load February SNAP benefits onto recipients’ cards now rather than the beginning of February.

SNAP recipients are encouraged to plan their purchases carefully to fulfill their food needs throughout the month of February.