“States across the country are being told to stop the supplemental nutrition assistance program for the month of November, pending further notice.
That’s according to a letter from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Fox 13 obtained a copy from the Crossroads Urban Center in downtown Salt Lake City. Crossroads says if Utah families don’t get food stamps, they’ll turn to the local food pantries, which are already strapped due to the government shutdown. Homeless people Fox 13 talked to, some who use SNAP, say losing food stamps would mean going hungry.
“This is going to create a huge hardship for the people we serve here in our food pantry,” says Bill Tibbits who is the Associate Director at Crossroads Urban Center.
They posted a letter from the USDA on its Facebook page. It says in part, “in the interest of preserving maximum flexibility, we are directing states to hold their November issuance files and delay transmission to state electronic benefit transfer vendors until further notice.”
Specific program impacts of a lapse in funding are provided below. These impacts assume that the lapse is of short duration (i.e., less than one month). Should the funding lapse be longer, the FNCS contingency plan and these associated impacts will be re-visited and updated:
• The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will continue operations and eligible households will still receive monthly benefits for October. The authority to make October benefit payments comes from the Recovery Act, through which Congress provided “such sums as are necessary” to finance the SNAP benefit provided for in the Recovery Act. In addition, about $2 billion in contingency funding will be available and could be used to support State Administrative activities essential to continue the program and issue and process benefits. These contingency funds were provided in the FY 2013 appropriation and do not expire until the end of FY 2014.
• USDA is working with WIC State agencies to use all available funding resources to provide benefits to participants. FNS will be allocating both contingency and carryover funds to State agencies for use in operating their FY 2014 WIC Program, in addition to other available funds. Should a lapse extend through late October, federal WIC funding may not be sufficient to cover benefits.•
• The Child Nutrition (CN) Programs, including School Lunch, School Breakfast, Child and Adult Care Feeding, Summer Food Service and Special Milk will continue operations into October. Meal providers are paid on a reimbursement basis 30 days after the end of the service month.