The government shutdown is in its 28th day and there is no end in sight.
The US Department of Agriculture will still send out Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, benefits for January and February despite the shutdown.
The USDA’s Child Nutrition Programs will also be funded into February, but it is unclear what will happen if the shutdown continues after that.
Other food programs such as Commodity Supplemental Food Program and WIC will not receive federal funding during the shutdown, but may continue using state and local funds.
With no sign of ending anytime soon, the government shutdown is starting to take its toll on federal services and workers. But for recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, also known as food stamps, there is some good news — for now.
According to a plan released by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), SNAP benefits will be available during the start of the shutdown as previously appropriated funding is carried over to meet the needs of the program.
In the initial USDA release about the shutdown, the department said SNAP benefits for January would be available but there was no commitment for February. In a later announcement, the USDA said that the department will send money for February’s benefits to states that administer the program.
Benefits for the month of February are being sent out this week, well ahead of the typical timing. Usually the funds would go out on or after February 1, but in order to ensure that the money is available the USDA told state agencies that administer the program that benefits had to be sent out by January 20.
USDA officials could not commit to providing SNAP benefits in March and it appears unlikely that the funds will be there if the shutdown were to …read more
Source:: Business Insider