As of July 2016 Idaho has changed the way they refill EBT cards through the SNAP program. Prior to July, people receiving Idaho food stamps would receive their benefits via the Electronic Benefits Transfer system on the first of the month. Under the new change, people receiving Idaho food stamps will now get it based on their birth year, spread out over the first 10 days of each month. To find out specifically when you will receive your refill check out the new Idaho EBT Payment schedule. Now people are worried the change will affect how they use their EBT card going forward, this past month recipients have been stretching their benefits longer then the 30 days to make sure they will have enough until the next payment date.
The situation has had Payette County's community food bank gearing up for a period of increased demand. Steve Morningstar, community program advocate coordinator for the Western Idaho Community Action Partnership, operator of the Payette-based pantry, said the program heard complaints from food stamp recipients about the impending change.
"A lot of people are already worried that they aren't going to be able to make it" Morningstar said Wednesday.
Peter Lawson, branch services manager for the Southeast Oregon Regional Food Bank, said he could remember the change occurring years ago, and at the food bank in Ontario the effect was the same as when other changes have taken place.
"Any time that there's substantial change in the system or in the mechanics of it, we'll see upticks on the pantry side as people try to adjust" Lawson said.
The change comes at a time of year when food donations tend to be low, and when families with children need additional food assistance because school is out for the summer. On the morning of June 29, with nearly two full days remaining to serve client families in June, Morningstar said it appeared to be a record month for the food bank, which he said provides as much as 400 boxes of food in an average month. He didn't have the current number for the month, but did mention that they were already greater than 300.
"I think June's going to set the record because the last two days we've done 50 boxes a day" Morningstar said.
With the combination of the increased demands and the usual summer slow down of donations, it appears there will be a limit on how much could be offered in the July box. "It's not going to be as much as what they got last month" Morningstar said.
If you live in Idaho and need to know when you will receive your refill, Idaho Food Stamp Payment Dates.
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