New Mexico to participate in early food stamps option

January 10, 2019

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Human Services Department says it will participate in a federal waiver option that will clear the way for benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, to be issued early.

The agency made the announcement Wednesday, a day after the federal government asked states to issue February food stamps benefits on or before Jan. 20 so that they can be paid to the nearly 40 million Americans in the program should the shutdown continue.

The program is already funded for January.

New Mexico officials say the option will be a big relief to the 455,000 New Mexicans who rely on the benefits.

State Human Services Secretary David Scrase says the benefits equate to roughly $50 million that New Mexico families will be able to use at their local grocery stores.