SNAP recipients, grocers complain about payment schedule

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Illinois grocers and government food assistance recipients want the state to increase the number of days it disburses benefits to help relieve sporadic food shortages.

Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program recipients say it’s sometimes difficult to find fresh fruits, vegetables and meat in the last two weeks of each month since Illinois in 2013 began distributing the assistance through the 10th.

Gatehouse Media Illinois reported Saturday that there’s now little incentive for grocers to stock perishable food all month.

Last year, some recipients began getting disbursements on the 13th, 17th and 20th. But the state plans to phase that out, saying the 10-day disbursement simplifies the process.

The USDA says access to fresh food is the most important factor in setting disbursement schedules, but it won’t interfere in Illinois’ decision.