The government shutdown could impact recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program if it doesn't end by the end of February.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced on Tuesday, it was able to fund the food stamps program through February without an additional appropriation from Congress.
“At President Trump’s direction, we have been working with the Administration on this solution. It works and is legally sound. And we want to assure states, and SNAP recipients, that the benefits for February will be provided,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said.
Currently, SNAP benefits have been administered as normal.
"We encourage everyone to continue to enroll in their SNAP benefits, to keep their renewal dates, or interview," Caritas of Waco SNAP Program Director Esther Morales said.
Miranda Moore who recently moved to Waco after becoming homeless in Dallas receives food stamps.
"I never thought I would be in this place where I am now," Moore said.
The 34-year-old uses SNAP benefits and food pantries to feed her family.
The mother of one is concerned about a lapse in benefits if the shutdown lasts through March.
"That's what I rely on to be able to have food for my son," Moore said.
Other SNAP recipients who have been renewing their benefits have also expressed concerns, according to Morales.
"Primarily, they are nervous but more scared than nervous what would happen if that would go past February and how they would feed their families," Morales said.
If that happens, it would also be hard on food pantries like Caritas to help those impacted.
"We don't know how long we would be able to sustain that. Again that will all depend on what we would be able to receive on our food banks," Morales said.
Moore hopes she will be on her own before the possibility of losing her benefits.
"I have no other choice. I have to do it for my son," Moore said.
She is currently looking for a job that would be accommodating to her disability, which she said doesn't allow her to stand for longer periods of time.
If you have any information about openings, email Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org.
USDA announced the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) will continue to provide states this week to facilitate February benefits.
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