FSSA changing food stamp schedule

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January is going to be an even tougher month for 900,000 food stamp recipients unless they plan ahead. A new payment schedule begins on January 1.

The schedule is supposed to ease the burden on food pantries and groceries. Pantries are overwhelmed at the end of the month, when recipients run out of money. Grocery stores are crowded at the beginning of the month, when everyone receives their benefits at the same time.

More on schedule change

Payments will now be spread out over three weeks. The change is being phased in so families don't have to stretch their December benefits to the last week of January.

The FSSA says only the dates are changing, not the benefit amounts. Letters and phone calls are going out to recipients.