Government shutdown could impact food assistance

In the event of a shutdown, key federal services like food assistance could be put to a halt.
Published: Sep. 26, 2023 at 10:11 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - The nation is headed towards a government shutdown if Congress cannot pass legislation to extend funding before Sunday, October 1. In the event of a shutdown, it could put key federal services like food assistance to a halt.

A government shutdown could have repercussions extending beyond the confines of Capitol Hill. “There’s a real human impact that will be felt,” said Anya Rose, senior public policy manager with Hunger Free Colorado.

Rose explains women and children who count on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children or WIC would soon start being turned away at grocery store counters. “We worry that this will increase hunger and it will put an immense strain on our emergency food system and on those food pantries and food banks on the front lines,” said Rose.

The shutdown would put at risk about 90,000 children and women in Colorado who rely on the benefits, but the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP, would still be available for a while. “They should be able to continue operation through October, so people should receive their October SNAP benefits on the normal schedule. They should receive their normal amount,” said Rose. However, if the shutdown is prolonged and goes into November, then it becomes unclear if benefits could be disrupted.