UPDATE: The government shut down has ended.
• Government Funding Update: Congressional leaders have passed an agreement on a spending package that would keep the federal government open for the remainder of the current fiscal year. The measure provides a $30 million funding increase for TEFAP storage and distribution, which is essential to our food banks operations, and was a policy priority that was advocated actively by Second Harvest and Feeding America. Unfortunately, the measure does not include back pay for federal contract employees who were especially hard hit during the 35-day shutdown, losing nearly 10 percent of their annual income.
Original Blog Post (with updates):
The Federal Government shutdown is creating hardship for local federal workers who are not receiving paychecks and is bringing into question funding for vital programs that impact the communities Second Harvest serves every day.
In this blog post, we will make updates related to the shutdown and its potential local impact as they are available.
How the shutdown could impact your SNAP (“Food Stamps”) benefits
• Food stamps/SNAP benefits will be loaded onto your accounts on or around January 20th. These are your FEBRUARY benefits– they are NOT additional or extra benefits. We want everyone to be aware of this so that you can budget carefully through the month of February.
• SNAP has been funded at this time through the end of February 2019. Your January benefits should be deposited on the normal schedule. If you are having an issue with your January benefits, please contact your caseworker or call your state’s SNAP hotline.
• If you are supposed to be filing for re-certification in January or February, it is recommended that you file your re-certification paperwork as soon as possible. NC has said that the re-certification process should not be impacted by this shutdown.
1/17/18 Update: WIC is funded through February, per the USDA.
1/18/18 Update: There are reports of stores not taking SNAP/WIC. At this time, there are 158 retailers across the state who could not get their re-certifications to accept SNAP because of the shutdown, according to the Budget & Tax Policy Center. This is NOT a problem at all stores.
1/22/19 Update: North Carolina SNAP recipients should have their February benefits reflected on their accounts at this time. THERE WILL NOT BE AN ADDITIONAL DEPOSIT ON YOUR ACCOUNT IN FEBRUARY.
2/15/19 Update: North Carolina SNAP recipient will have their MARCH benefits deposited onto their EBT cards on March 3rd. THIS IS NOT EXTRA MONEY even if it is earlier than your allotment usually is. It is intended to last through the month of March.
Información en español
How the shutdown could impact your child’s school meals
• Families can apply for free or reduced-price school meals at any point during the school year. This is a long-standing rule to reflect the many changes in families’ economic circumstances that can occur. This practice applies to households with furloughed employees.
• To apply, families should contact their school nutrition department. School districts also have the flexibility to date the eligibility for free or reduced-price school meals as of the date of the application (rather than the later date on which they approve the application) to provide more immediate support to families.
• If a school district has questions, they should contact their state child nutrition agency.
How the shutdown impacts federal workers
• Federal workers and contractors are either working without pay or are furloughed without pay. Many federal workers, like many Americans, live paycheck to paycheck. Second Harvest’s network of over 460 partner programs including grocery assistance programs and food pantries serves the 18 counties of Northwest North Carolina and are open to all federal employees in need of assistance.
• To find the program closest to you, please click here and select the county in which you live.
***1/22/19 Update*** Several members of our partner network are organzing special grocery distributions for federal employees. Follow us on Facebook for updates for times and locations.