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Food-stamp recipients urged to ration as shutdown continues

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Families across Utah that rely on food stamps will be getting February's benefits weeks early.

As the longest government shutdown in U.S. history continues, state officials who administer the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program said Wednesday that recipients can expect to receive their benefits over the next few days.

But Dale Ownby, who leads the state division that oversees Utah's SNAP program, urged recipients to ration the benefits, as no funding is in place for March's food-stamp allotment due to the federal government shutdown.

Utah's Department of Workforce Services says approximately 75,000 households in the state receive nutrition benefits through the federal SNAP program.

Utahns Against Hunger Executive Director Gina Cornia says, "The fact that we are putting ... 200,000 Utah individuals at risk of experiencing hunger is unconscionable."

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