As the #TrumpShutdown drags on, people across the country are suffering devastating consequences. From confusion over SNAP (food stamps) and WIC experienced by beneficiaries to the sudden loss of income experienced by 800,000+ federal workers and contractors, the effects of this shutdown are far-reaching and downright scary. As MomsRising and many other groups across the country are taking action to #endtheshutdown, we also want to try to clear up some of the confusion swirling around. With much thanks to Feeding America, the Center for Budget & Policy Priorities, and other partners, we have pulled together this guide to the shutdown that includes:
- Updates for recipients of SNAP (food stamps), WIC and school lunch programs;
- Resources for federal workers struggling financially as a result of the shutdown; and
- Ways to help out.
Updates for recipients of SNAP (food stamps), WIC and school lunch programs
- Your questions answered—Click here for quick info. on how the shutdown affects your ability to put food on the table.
- February SNAP benefits— Were issued early, in January. Both January and February benefits were loaded onto EBT cards in January (by January 20th). You probably received a letter informing you of this change. USDA appears to be doing this in order to guarantee you have money for food if the shutdown continues. NO ADDITIONAL SNAP BENEFITS WILL BE ISSUED IN FEBRUARY.
- March SNAP benefits—USDA has said they have funds for SNAP through February, but come March, funding is less certain. This is why we need to do everything we can to call on our elected leaders to reopen the government. Please call 844-633-2048 to tell your Senator to end the #TrumpShutdown.
- Gap between SNAP benefits— There is a large gap between February benefits (which most SNAP recipients received by January 20) and March benefits. Households will need to carefully budget their groceries. It will be a minimum of 40 days before any additional SNAP benefits are issued. Click here to find out how long the wait may be in your state.
- If a store cannot accept your EBT card, just go to another store!— There are 2,500 stores across the country that are not able to accept EBT cards during the shutdown. Find out why. So if your EBT card is not accepted at a store, just go to another store. Your EBT card still works; it just does not work at some specific stores.
- WIC benefits— Will be issued through the month of February. WIC clinics will remain open in February. A prolonged shutdown could close clinics and limit benefits beyond February.
- School breakfast and lunch, and afterschool meals— Are funded through March. Some school systems might be making cost saving decisions to guarantee that basic meals can still be served once the federal funding runs out. But the USDA has said that school meals will be funded through March.
- How to talk to children and youth about coping with financial stress—Visit the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress’s new webpage on Economic Stress for fact sheets on how to talk to children and youth about coping in hard times.
Resources for federal workers struggling financially as a result of the shutdown
- Food Assistance from Hunger Free America— Call the toll free number (855) 859-4647 or go to this website for food resources including government food programs and private food pantries.
- Food Assistance from Feeding America— Click here for information about visiting Food Banks in the Feeding America network across the country.
Ways to help:
- Anti-hunger volunteer activities— Call the toll free number (855) 859-4647 or go to this website to volunteer your time or give a donation.
- Your local food bank — Click to find your local food bank to become involved or provide a donation.
- Feeding America network of food banks— Click to donate to this network.
In good times and in bad, we are all more powerful together. Our hearts are with our affected MomsRising members, their families, their neighbors, and communities, and we urge all of our members to support those suffering from the #TrumpShutdown in whatever ways you can. Our country will get through this together.
Help make sure these resources and ways to help get in the hands of those who need them by sharing widely. We will continue to update these resources in the days and weeks ahead. And continue to check MomsRising’s website and social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) since we updating you on the shutdown daily, sharing stories of moms impacted, and sharing resources.
Have you, your family, and/or your community been impacted by the Trump Government Shutdown? Your experiences, along with the stories from other families across the nation, will help remind our leaders that we needs policies that work for ALL of our families and that there are real consequences to this weeks-long government shutdown.We want to hear from you! Click to share your #TrumpShutdown story.