SNAP, Food Assistance Programs Could Run Out Of Funding Amid Shutdown

Food assistance programs like SNAP and WIC will be without funding in the near future if federal legislation isn't passed.
Posted at 4:20 PM, Jan 07, 2019

As the partial government shutdown heads into its third week, funding for several food-assistance programs may be in jeopardy.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as SNAP or food stamps, provides low-income Americans with money to buy grocery items.

SNAP operates under the Department of Agriculture, and it only has enough money to operate as-is through January. The program's emergency funding reportedly won't be enough to cover all of February's costs, meaning there could be cuts. If funding legislation isn't passed by March, millions may lose access to food benefits.

According to the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities, 42 million Americans used SNAP in 2017. Nearly 70 percent of them were in families with children.

The Department of Agriculture says school breakfast and lunch programs will continue providing services for students through February. WIC, a similar food program geared toward women and young children, has received no federal funding since the shutdown began.