Government Shutdown affecting state food stamp programs

Jan 9, 2019

The US Agriculture Department says it will continue to supply food stamps through the month of February.

But, states like Michigan need to get their request for the benefits in soon.

The ongoing government shutdown is biting into federal funds for food stamps, which are officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – or SNAP – benefits.

But Agriculture Department officials say they are using the end of a continuing resolution that temporarily funded government agencies and programs to keep paying for food stamps.

They say the government is required to pay any benefits requested within 30 days of a continuing resolution expiring.

That means state governments have a limited window to ask for food stamp funding, and have the SNAP benefits still issued through February.

Experts estimate more than a million people in Michigan receive food stamps.

Agriculture officials say they have also found funding to pay for the Women, Infants, and Children program, known as WIC – until the end of next month.