BOSTON – January 8, 2019 – The Greater Boston Food Bank is committed to being here every day for all those struggling with hunger in Eastern Massachusetts, especially the most vulnerable among us—children, seniors, people struggling with disabilities, and low-income families.
The current government shutdown will escalate the problem of food insecurity in our area.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is among the affected federal agencies, which will result in direct consequences for federal nutrition programs.
The USDA has announced a Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) contingency plan that outlines the agency’s operation in the event of a federal government shutdown. The USDA will continue to issue Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits through February under the last Continuing Resolution. States will need to take action by January 20, 2019 in order to receive February benefits. With respect to the availability of food through commodity programs, orders for TEFAP will continue through the end of February 2019, but subsequently, there is uncertainty surrounding the programs post March 1st if the shutdown continues. The food bank network has seen an increase in demand by individuals needing assistance as a result of the shutdown. By law, most federal employees’ pay has been stopped during a shutdown, as well as contractors or others whose income is tied to the federal government.
We will continue to monitor the situation and hope to proceed with no disruptions. And in the anticipation of increased need, we will redouble our efforts to end hunger here, including fundraising.
We believe hunger is a non-partisan issue, and no one in our country should ever go hungry.
Updated on Friday, January 11, 2019.