The Food Bank's Response to the End of the Government Shutdown

Answers to many commonly asked questions about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and short-term funding of the federal government through Friday, February 15, 2019.

1. If I received my February benefits on Thursday, January 17, 2019 and the federal government shutdown ends, will I receive more benefits in February on my normal date?

No, the benefits you received on or around Thursday, January 17, 2019 are your February benefits. There will be no additional benefits for the month of February. Please note, it is important that you budget your SNAP benefits to last you through the end of February.

2. When can I start using the February benefits deposited on my EBT card on Thursday, January 17, 2019?

You may begin to use them immediately beginning Thursday, January 17, 2019. However, please remember that you will not receive any more SNAP benefits in February.

3. What if my February benefits are not available in my EBT account on Thursday, January 17, 2019?

If you completed your recertification for SNAP benefits in January and did not receive your February benefit on Thursday, January 17, 2019, this does not mean that you will not get a February benefit. Your February benefit should be available on your regularly-scheduled benefit availability date.

If you have sent in your recertification application but have not yet completed the recertification process, you must do so as soon as possible. You must complete your interview and submit any required verification to your local Department of Social Services as soon as possible for them to determine if you are eligible for February SNAP benefits.

4. What if I haven’t sent in my completed recertification yet?

Please complete the recertification process soon as possible in order to continue to receive benefits. If you have any questions, please contact our Outreach Department at (866) 839-7304.

5. What will happen to my March benefits?

At this time, we have not received any additional information about March SNAP benefits. We will continue to work closely with local Department of Social Services and our federal government partners during the shutdown. We will provide updates as they come available.

6. Do I have to continue to meet all SNAP requirements during the shutdown?

Yes. You are still required to recertify, complete periodic reports, report changes, and respond to requests from your local Department Social Services as usual. 

7. Can I still apply during the shutdown if I don’t receive SNAP?

Yes, you may still apply. Please contact Food Bank of Central New York's Outreach Department at (866) 839-7304. Our team will connect you to your county Outreach Coordinator who will assist you in applying for SNAP benefits.

8Does the federal government shutdown affect my Temporary Assistance (cash) benefits?

Temporary Assistance benefits (including cash and restricted benefits) are not currently affected by the shutdown and will be available on their normal schedule.

9. I am a federal worker who needs food assistance. Can I get SNAP benefits?

If you fit all eligibility criteria for SNAP you may receive SNAP benefits.

10. I have been impacted by the government shutdown and am not a federal worker. Can I get SNAP benefits?

As mentioned above, if you meet the eligibility criteria for SNAP and are impacted by the shutdown and need assistance (i.e someone who works in a federal worker area and has had hours cut) you may apply to receive SNAP benefits.

11. I am a parent of a child getting school lunch. Will my child still get their meals?

Your child will receive meals. School meals programs and afterschool meal programs will be funded through March and likely into April. If your child was already participating in the National School Lunch Program before the shutdown, there should be no changes in your child’s participation. If you applied and received benefits for free or reduced price lunch for your child during the shutdown, contact your child’s school if you have questions about the program and/or need to update your household information.

12. I am a new parent who receives Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits. Will there be an interruption in my benefits?

No interruption in WIC benefits is expected. WIC is funded for February and March now that the shutdown is over, and WIC clinics remain open. 

For more information, please contact our Outreach Department at (866) 839-7304. Our team will connect you to your county Outreach Coordinator who will assist you in applying for SNAP benefits.