Government shutdown: How it affects food assistance
Screenshot of USDA.gov taken on Oct. 1, 2013.
- SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, aka food stamps) – SNAP will continue to be funded for at least a year. USA Today says the program is funded through the recovery act, and those funds have another year before they expire.
- WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) – The WIC program is greatly affected by the shutdown. Huffington Post reports that the impact of the shutdown on WIC will be on a state-by-state basis. The states administer the federal funds that they receive for WIC, but during the shutdown, no federal funds for the program will be available. That means the states will have to work with what money they have. The USDA believes most states have enough federal money to continue operating for about a week.
- Senior Nutrition Grants – 2.5 million elderly Americans who rely on this program are in trouble. The federal funds for Senior Nutrition Grants will be unavailable during the shutdown, according to NBC News.
- National School Lunch Program – USA Today reports the USDA “expects most schools will be able to continue providing meals through October.” Schools with excess funds will continue to be able to operate their school lunch programs. A website I’m unfamiliar with, The Braiser, says that after October “food suppliers will continue to supply schools, eventually getting reimbursed for whatever they send to schools to feed the children.” (If anyone can confirm that information from a more reliable source, please let me know in the comments.)
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