PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Economic Security is issuing February food stamp benefits to Arizonans early and in one lump sum as the partial government shutdown continues. 

Nearly 320,000 families will receive their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits for the entire month of February starting Jan. 17, according to DES.

The department emphasized that the benefits are the household's entire benefits for the month of February and not additional benefits. 

Arizona SNAP recipients will receive their February benefits over the next four days depending on the letter of their last name. 

 1/17: A – F 

1/18: G – L 

1/19: M – R 

1/20: S – Z 

DES is encouraging SNAP recipients to budget their benefits to ensure the amount received from Jan. 17 – Jan. 20 will provide for their family’s food needs throughout the entire month of February. 

SNAP benefits are funded by the federal government and are at risk of being interrupted during the government shutdown that entered its 27th day on Thursday. According to DES, this plan to give households their February benefits early is to prevent families from going without benefits. 

In a 2018 report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said that SNAP provides about $1.40 billion in food benefits to a monthly average of 960,105 people in Arizona.