It's Not Over Yet - How the Government Shutdown Has Affected Our Community and How You Can Help

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides millions of low-income families with a plastic card or “food stamps” to help provide food for their households. As the Government shutdown continues, there is a very real possibility that funds for the program will run out in February. The Huffington Post reports that in an effort to make sure recipients receive their February SNAP benefits, the Government has already added funds to the SNAP EBT cards and many recipients do not know they have the money on the card already, or if they do, they do not know that this money has to last them possibly into March unless the Government reopens and SNAP benefits are funded beyond February.

SNAP BENEFIT ALLOWANCES:

Chart: The Conversation, CC-BY-ND Source:  USDA Food and Nutrition Service   Get the data

Chart: The Conversation, CC-BY-ND Source: USDA Food and Nutrition Service Get the data

 

The Government has already made moves to restrict the SNAP program by signing into law on Dec. 20, 2018, a new bill that left out new limits on the eligibility of adults without children. Those limits were part of the House version, but Congress dropped them prior to the bill’s passage. But that same day, the U.S. Department of Agriculture proposed a rule that would restrict access anyway. Source: https://theconversation.com/the-trump-administration-wants-to-tighten-snap-work-requirements-bypassing-congress-109865?mc_cid=f0e1e7938d&mc_eid=54aa2fa164

A survey by CalNonprofits revealed the Government shutdown is also hurting nonprofits that rely on federal funding to provide Safety Net Services such as food and shelter. Some nonprofits report that they cannot complete applications for new funds for everything from home loan applications, to applications for infrastructure, and economic development. Nonprofits are also lowering their fundraising expectations from the federal Government which will mean searching for new sources of funding to cover the gap.

While the Government has just announced a 3 week CR, this doesn’t mean the impact of the shutdown is over in the long-term. Furloughed workers who will soon be receiving back pay will be playing ‘catch up’ on their rent, utilities, and other bills that have been put on hold while they have been working without pay.

Thousands of workers and their families have been forced to go into debt in order to meet basic living needs, and the ultimate, permanent resolution of the shutdown will not address this issue. Contract employees are still not expected to receive any back pay, forcing them to face a future of financial losses without any hope of recovery.

At Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen, we continue to provide hot nutritious meals to anyone in need, no questions asked. We welcome all affected by the shutdown to join us at one of our public service sites Monday through Friday at 4:30pm. Please join us at:

  1. Eastside Neighborhood Center; 2150 Alum Rock Avenue, San Jose, CA 95116

  2. Goodwill of Silicon Valley; 1080 North 7th Street, San Jose, CA 95112

We have also opened brand new location! We are serving Monday and Thursday at San Jose Vietnamese Seventh Day Adventist Church located at: 1066 South Second Street, San Jose, CA 95112 - All are welcomed, no questions asked.

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Loaves & Fishes does not currently receive any federal funding and relies on the generosity of individuals like you to help feed our hungriest neighbors. Now is a critical time in our community to make sure the people who need it most have access to our services. In addition to our three public meal service sites, we partner with 40+ nonprofit partners to deliver meals across the Bay Area to community centers, low-income senior residents, and shelters. We cannot continue this work without the support of generous people like you. Please consider a gift to Loaves & Fishes to support your neighbors affected by the Government shutdown.

Contributed by Madeline Martin, Director of Marketing & Development, Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen