AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Local agencies are urging families to budget their SNAP benefits with caution as the the partial government shutdown enters its second month.
“Our encouragement to those families is to hold onto your benefits as long as you can,” said Tina Brohlin, Communications and Marketing Manager for the High Plains Food Bank. “Be very prudent in your budgeting and meal-planning, so that you can stretch your SNAP benefits through the month of February and possibly into March.”
Brohlin recommended making a shopping list before going to the grocery store with a budget in mind to help keep you on track.
“Start meal-planning with meals that you can realistically make on a daily basis,” said Brohlin. “It’s also important to find food items you know your family would enjoy and eat on a daily basis.”
Along with meal-planning, Brohlin said to count on leftovers. For example, make more of sauce than your family would eat in a single meal, then use the extra to prepare a second dish the next night.
“We encourage you to buy in bulk only if you know you’ll use those items,” said Brohlin. “Don’t buy meats or fresh produce in bulk because those could be wasted, and we don’t want your benefits to go to waste.”
Brohlin suggest checking your cupboards, refrigerator and freezer for items you already have.
She added not to wait until you’ve exhausted your SNAP benefits before seeking help, as the food bank partners with 190 food pantries across the panhandle.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services said people can still apply on its website for food stamps despite the government shutdown.