As a consequence of the ongoing federal government shutdown, people participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) who are up for renewal this month must submit their forms by Tuesday (Jan. 15) in order to receive food they need for February.
Roughly 7,532 people in Taos County, or nearly 23 percent of the county's population, participate in SNAP, according to 2018 data collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
There are more than 25,000 SNAP households in New Mexico due for renewal this month, of which 14,500 were still outstanding as of Jan. 11, according to a notice from the New Mexico Human Services Department.
The notice said SNAP was not funded beyond the end of the month due to the federal government shutdown, which over the weekend became the longest in U.S. history.
The program opted for a "waiver option" through the USDA "in an effort to minimize the impact of the shutdown," which has interrupted federal services across the country and caused roughly 800,000 federal workers to go without pay until it ends.
Beneficiaries who apply through SNAP are usually granted 12 months of benefits once their application is approved.
Due to the shutdown, February benefits will be issued early, "on or before Jan. 20," the press release states.
A renewal form can be submitted to the Income Support Division at one of their offices, a list of which can be found online at bit.ly/2HboWU1 or via fax to 1-855-804-8960. You can also call the main state office for assistance at 1-800-283-4465.
Tuesday's deadline applies only to SNAP participants who are up for renewal this month.
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