The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced today that March Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will be issued early to Illinois customers. March SNAP benefits will be loaded into customers’ accounts on March 1st. SNAP is a federal program administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and distributed through IDHS in Illinois. Because of the way the USDA funded SNAP during the federal shutdown, February benefits were issued in January. These benefits are typically issued in February and intended for use in February. There is no need for customers to visit the local IDHS offices or call their caseworkers. IDHS staff will be working in the upcoming days to implement the necessary changes to issue benefits early. SNAP customers will receive the normal amount of monthly SNAP benefits on their Link cards, the debit-like cards used to spend SNAP benefits and other cash assistance. IDHS will be working to communicate the new issuance dates to SNAP customers in the upcoming weeks through the IDHS website, Link website and phone line, a social media campaign and community outreach.