Hunger News and Trends

What does a government shutdown mean for me?

By January 24, 2019 No Comments
January 14, 2019 | by The Feeding America Government Relations Team

We know many of you have questions about how the government shutdown affects putting food on the table. We called on our partners at Feeding America to provide you with helpful insights regarding food assistance programs, like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Women Infant Children (WIC) program, and other federal nutrition programs communities are using to answer your questions.

I am receiving SNAP benefits. What does the government shutdown mean for me?

You will still receive full SNAP benefits for January and February. However, SNAP recipients should expect to see February benefits loaded on their cards by January 20th, an earlier timeline than normal. This means individuals may have two months’ worth of benefits on their account in January. No additional benefits will be added in February. USDA is encouraging all participating SNAP recipients to plan their purchases carefully to help make sure benefits will help meet food needs through February.

Can I still apply for SNAP?

Yes. Through February, there should be no change to the process.

I am a federal worker who needs food assistance. Can I get SNAP benefits? Can I go to a food bank?

If you fit all eligibility criteria for SNAP you may receive SNAP benefits. In addition, food banks are opening their doors to accept furloughed federal workers or and other individuals impacted by the shutdown who need assistance.

I have been impacted by the government shutdown and am not a federal worker. Can I get SNAP benefits? Can I go to a food bank? 

As mentioned above, food banks are opening their doors for furloughed federal workers or any other individuals impacted by the shutdown who need assistance. However, if you do not fall into this category, but are still affected by the shutdown (i.e someone who works in a federal worker area and has had hours cut) if you fit all eligibility criteria for SNAP you may apply to receive SNAP benefits.

I am a parent of a child getting school lunch. Will my child still get their meals?

Yes, your child will receive meals. School meals programs and afterschool meal programs will be funded through March.

I am a new parent who receives WIC benefits. Will there be an interruption in my benefits?

You will receive WIC benefits through the month of February. WIC clinics will remain open in the near term, though a prolonged shutdown could close clinics and limit benefits.

Will I still receive Meals on Wheels and other senior nutrition programs?

Yes. You will still receive Meals on Wheels. CSFP senior food box deliveries should continue through March.

I participate in the FDPIR program. What does the government shutdown mean for me?

FDPIR food will be delivered through March and funding for program operations will continue through February. However, recipients may see a disruption in receiving FDPIR if the shutdown continues.

Feeding America will continue our commitment to addressing hunger during this challenging time to ensure those struggling are able to put food on the table.