ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) - It’s a mad dash to stock up on food as those who receive government assistance try to make their benefits stretch through February and possibly beyond.

Empty store shelf

Jeffery Henderson has received food stamps for six years and says when he heard about the government shutdown impacting SNAP and WIC recipients, he became concerned.

“I really didn’t think it was going to last this long,” said Henderson.

The government released its remaining $4.8 billion in SNAP benefits as a precaution, just in case the shutdown does carry into February.

Benefits to both Illinois and Missouri have already been issued.

SNAP benefits are usually dispersed throughout the month but with the government’s mass release, now there’s concern people won’t budget and instead make mass purchases.

“It’s kind of hard,” said Henderson

Director of Operations at Field Foods, Joseph O’Toole, told News 4 right now many grocers are stocking up on products to handle SNAP and WIC recipients.

“If the funds dry out, we will be prepared to back up our inventory to still be stocked with products,” said O’Toole.

The Food Marketing Institute, an association representing grocers, says this puts a stain on the grocery industry.

The government is urging those on food stamps to spend wisely and buy mostly nonperishable items.

Copyright 2018 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

News 4 Reporter

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