Nearly 39 million people stay fed through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Those people could be in real trouble if Trump and Senate Republicans don’t agree to end their shutdown and reopen government. Food stamps will be funded through January, but February is a question mark.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a $3 billion reserve to cover food stamps during a shutdown—but that’s not enough funding for a full month.
There might be more of a cushion available, but the USDA isn’t talking.
According to a nonprofit manager who works with state agencies that handle SNAP payments, “We can never really get a good handle on reserves. They're very tight-lipped about it.” And if the state agencies involved are left in the dark, the uncertainty is that much greater for the people who depend on SNAP to put food on the table every day.