Sarah Ford | October 10, 2013

What Happens to Nutrition Programs During a Government Shutdown?

The country is still figuring out the implications of the recent government shutdown. We took a look at nutrition programs and how they will be affected.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP – formerly known as food stamps) will continue operations and eligible households will still receive monthly benefits for October. SNAP does not have statutory authority to continue distributing benefits after October. Additionally, about $2 billion in SNAP contingency funds are available and could be used to support state administrative activities to issue and process benefits. Contingency funds are provided in annual appropriations and do not expire until the end of FY2014. SNAP is providing about $6 billion per month in benefits, so unfortunately the contingency funds would not go very far if needed to help fund benefits.

No additional funds would be available to support the Commodity Assistance Programs (CAP) including the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), and administrative funding. While no new funding will be able, existing inventories can still be used. In addition, we expect that if and when funding is provided through a Continuing Resolution, it will be available retroactively, which would allow programs to cover their administrative costs retroactively.  For TEFAP orders placed before September 30, food banks can still expect the food to be delivered as scheduled this October – December.  Unfortunately, food banks will NOT receive federal funds to offset the cost to store and distribute TEFAP foods.  In addition, food banks can expect a delay in TEFAP orders expected in January since USDA cannot place the orders until the government reopens.  The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program is a Commodity Assistance Program and will not have funds to provide benefits.

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Source: Feeding America

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