Food stamp recipients urged to budget after misinformation spreads on social media

Food stamp recipients urged to budget after misinformation spreads on social media
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - State benefits offices got a flurry of calls Thursday from food stamp recipients worried that their February distribution — which went out early — needed to be spent by the end of the month.

“That’s not true,” said state Department of Human Services spokeswoman Keopu Reelitz, adding that the misinformation appeared to be spreading on social media.

“Those February benefits are meant to least the entire month. We need to stress again that they need to budget.”

Food stamp recipients got their February benefits on Jan. 20 because of the government shutdown.

The unprecedented early distribution — almost two weeks ahead of schedule — has advocates worried that recipients will spend all of their food stamps before the end of February.

Once the payment is gone, it’s unclear how much will be disbursed in March if the shutdown hasn’t been resolved.

Nearly 170,000 Hawaii residents receive food stamps.

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