State officials stagger rollout of food stamps
By Maya T. Prabhu
When Gov. Brian Kemp announced last month that Georgia’s more than 1 million food stamp recipients would get additional benefits to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, many expected those funds to appear automatically.

But officials with the state Division of Family and Children’s Services are instead rolling those additional benefits out during the last week of the month to avoid overwhelming grocery stores.

“They do it in bursts so that retailers have a chance to restock,” DFCS spokeswoman Patrice Meadows said. “If everybody got it the same day, some communities wouldn’t be able to respond.”

Officials initially said the additional funds would be dispersed in April on the day benefits typically were received.

In response to the pandemic, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP, is granting recipients the maximum amount allowed based on household size under federal guidelines for March and April. DFCS is also seeking approval to grant the additional benefit amount in May.

SNAP recipients received their usual April benefit amount on the day their accounts are typically replenished.

The additional amounts began being distributed Saturday, with everyone receiving the higher benefit amount by Friday.

Money is being dispersed in batches based upon the SNAP identification number. Recipients with ID numbers ending between 00 and 19 should have received their additional benefits Saturday, and those ending in 20 to 49 should have gotten theirs Monday. The additional benefits will be provided to ID numbers ending between 50 and 69 on Wednesday; and 70 to 99 on Friday.