February food-stamp benefits for millions of Americans are set to be paid out early, creating a logistical challenge for states and grocery stores.
Confusion now surrounds the program, as USDA won't say when it will run out of reserve funds to pay benefits for nearly 39 million low-income Americans.
The partial government shutdown glided into its third week Saturday with no end in sight. If the government is not reopened before February, millions of Americans who receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) -- the nation's food stamp program — could have their assistance disrupted.
If the federal government remains partially shut down for several more months, as President Donald Trump suggested Friday, millions of people could lose food assistance. More than 38 million Americans receive monthly food benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which is often known as food stamps and is arguably the federal government’s most important anti-poverty program. If Trump keeps the government shut down through February, benefits could stop.
Here's a look at some of the more important and interesting elements of a bipartisan deal to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year.
The House Budget Committee-approved budget plan would cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) by more than $150 billion — over 20 percent — over the next ten years (2017-2026). A cut of this magnitude would necessitate ending food assistance for millions of low-income families, cutting benefits for millions of these households, or some combination of the two. The committee has proposed similarly deep SNAP cuts in each of its last five budgets. This year’s budget has two categories of SNAP cuts: