Nearly a million Hoosiers on food stamps will receive phone calls in the next few days as the state gets the word out about a change in the timing of their benefits. The change is meant to ease the burden on grocery stores.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, money is disbursed to needy Hoosiers on one of the first ten days of each month, depending on last name. For example, a person whose last name is Smith receives the money on the 8th. But a legislative change that goes into effect in January spaces out the timing of those benefits – meaning that a Smith will receive the money on the 19th of each month.
Noblesville Republican Senator Luke Kenley, who authored the bill creating the change, says spacing out the payments eases pressure at the grocery store.
“To the extent that they can buy, for example, specials or they can be taken care of by the personnel in the store – it gets to be a rush, kind of a hard problem for the store to deal with that on that side," Kenley said. "On the other side of the coin, the SNAP beneficiary doesn’t get the benefit of the bargains if the shelves are out of stock.”
The Family and Social Services Administration is spending about 400 thousand dollars spreading the word about the change. SNAP recipients will receive at least two mailings and a phone call. The campaign also includes radio and bus ads and a public service video.