STATE: March food and nutrition benefits to be delivered early

Published 11:07 am Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Because of the federal shutdown at the beginning of the year, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services continues to adjust distribution schedules for Food and Nutrition Services benefits. March benefits for all recipients will be distributed by March 3.

The distribution, which will be early for most families, will help minimize the effects of their access to food due to the previous federal government shutdown Dec. 22, 2018–Jan. 25, 2019, which resulted in the early distribution of February benefits on Jan. 20. DHHS continues its process of getting families and individuals back on their routine schedules over the short-term.

“We encourage families to continue to budget accordingly and pace their use of FNS benefits to make sure they have sufficient food until they return to their normal benefit cycles,” said DHHS Deputy Secretary for Human Services Tara Myers.

There is no change in the amount of benefits available to beneficiaries due to the schedule changes.

Other assistance programs that were affected by the shutdown also have continued funding for the short-term:

Work First, North Carolina’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, is fully funded through June 2019. More than 24,300 individuals participate in the program, accessing supports including Work First Cash Assistance, foster care, child protective and welfare services, adoptions, pre-K, teen pregnancy initiatives and subsidized child care.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) has funding through March. WIC provides basic nutritious foods to 212,000 eligible low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, as well as infants and children up to 5 years of age.

Information about these programs may be found at

For more information on FNS, go to or contact your local county Department of Social Services office.