January 24, 2019

The Impact of the Federal Shutdown on Children

In December, we wrote about the passage of the Farm Bill, including funding for SNAP. Unfortunately, the shutdown of the federal government poses a new threat to families’ access to nutritional assistance. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is working with states to keep SNAP operating through February. This strategy includes early distribution of benefits, which families will have to make last through the end of February. The plan for distributing SNAP going forward is unclear and even if the shutdown ends, some families may experience a long gap between distributions. Some retailers may be unable to accept SNAP benefits due to unprocessed renewal applications.

While many services, including Medicaid and CHIP, are not affected by the shutdown, school lunches and housing assistance face challenges as do families reliant on income from federal employment.  

What can you do?

1) If you work with SNAP recipients, spread the word about the likely timing of distributions

2) Contact your federal representatives and let them know what you think about options for reopening the government


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