Government Shutdown and What to Expect
The partial government shutdown which entered its third week on Saturday, seems to have no end in sight. If the government does not open before February, millions of those who receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) could see disruptions in their assistance.
Who Runs SNAP?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture oversees SNAP at the federal level and is one of the agencies that had its funding cut. The SNAP program has not received funding allocations from Congress for any further out than January. Congress has set aside $3 billion in backup funds for SNAP distribution, the problem is, that would not cover all of February’s obligations.
The Government Shutdown – Here are a Few Facts to Consider
- As of fiscal 2017, the federal government spent about $70 billion on SNAP
- There were over 40 million people in the U.S. receiving SNAP in a typical month in 2017
- The shear size of SNAP caseload makes it closely tied to the strength of the economy
- Nationwide, 4 percent of Americans rely on SNAP benefits
- Many cities on this list have SNAP recipient rate more than double the national average
The Top Five Cities in the U.S. Receiving SNAP Benefits
- Hammond, Louisiana – Households with SNAP benefits: 24.4%
- Rocky Mount, North Carolina – Households with SNAP benefits: 24.5%
- Grants Pass, Oregon – Households with SNAP benefits: 25.1%
- Laredo, Texas – Households with SNAP benefits: 27.0%
- McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas – Households with SNAP benefits: 29.8%
So, what can we expect if the SNAP program is not funded for an extended period of time?
The Department of Agriculture has made it clear that if the shut down stretched into February, there won’t be enough money to continue to hand out benefits. Further, Trump has made it equally as clear that he is not willing to back down on the border funding.
If benefits are cut off, it will only take a couple of days for civil unrest to begin. And you can bet they will be blaming Trump. Although we have never seen food stamp benefits cut off nationwide before, you can bet it will give many a good reason to start trouble.
Don’t ignore the possibility that something bad could happen if the benefits stop. Prep deep and be prepared to defend it.
Do you think there will be civil unrest due to the government shutdown? Are you preparing for just such a scenario?