Food stamps, also known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits–technically, can be affected during a government shutdown.
SNAP benefits are given to those who are in need of nutritional assistance. For every month, funds are transferred to a debit card for purchasing groceries. Considering about 36 million Americans rely on their food stamps to buy groceries, a government shutdown raises a big concern.
Those who qualify for food stamps are likely to receive their benefits at their usual time. Same as the Social Security benefits, the funds for these kinds of benefits are already set aside. With that said, the chances of a government shutdown having an impact on food stamps is very slim.
That’s of course assuming the duration of the government shutdown doesn’t last long enough to drain the funds. In 2019, SNAP and other food-related assistance programs cost the federal government about $60 billion.
In the last government shutdown which lasted for 35 days and was also the longest in the history of the U.S, the Department of Agriculture released a plan that will allow SNAP beneficiaries to get their food stamps without any problems at all.
Although the first announcement did not speak anything about the next month’s food stamps, the Department of Agriculture delivered the food stamps. Briefly after the announcement, the government opened again and the affected agencies received their funds.
The bottom line is a government shutdown can affect the agency that you’re expecting certain benefits from but the likelihood of you NOT receiving the benefits is next to zero. To apply for food stamps, you must contact your local SNAP office. Each state has its own requirements but as long as you need nutritional assistance, you surely will be granted food stamps.