Gov’t shutdown could impact SNAP benefits

Nicole Gerber

PROVIDENCE – Many federally funded programs in Rhode Island have stopped
serving the public. 

There are some programs that are still receiving federal
dollars, but only up to a certain point.

Since nobody knows when the government shut down will
end some are worried that soon,  they may not be able to get the
federal assistance they rely on, on a daily basis.

For some, SNAP benefits, or food stamps as they're more commonly known, are essential.

“I'm a single mother,” said Yesenia Javier, who uses SNAP benefits. “I have
4 kids… if they take the food stamps away what am I going to do?”

The SNAP benefits program is federally funded, and though it's currently funded through the end of October,
many are worried about putting food on the table… if the government shutdown
lasts through the month.

“I'll probably starve to death,” said Bill Labree, who uses SNAP benefits. “There aren't many
people on these streets that Bill doesn't know… and it affects them too. It's
not going to be good!

 “You know I don't know what I'm going to do because I'm only
working 23 hours a week and [SNAP is] the only help I'm taking,” said Javier.

There are other assistance programs that are still running
in the state.

Currently the Women, Infants, and Children program, also
known as WIC, is unaffected by the shutdown.

“The program is still open its still providing services… if
anyone has any questions they can either contact their WIC clinic or they can
contact us here at the Department of Health,” said a DoH spokesperson.