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The Government Shut Down and What It Means for SNAP Benefits in MA

Tuesday, January 15, 2019  
Posted by: Jamie Klufts
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The Government Shut Down and What It Means for SNAP Benefits in MA


As you are likely aware, the federal government is in a partial shutdown, freezing funding for many important government programs and agencies. Today is day 20 of the government shutdown and there is no clear end in sight. We are especially concerned about the funding and continuity of federal nutrition programs that work to lessen food insecurity such as SNAP, WIC, CACFP, and school meals.
In order to sustain funding for SNAP, the USDA announced a plan to protect access for FebruaryIn order to make this happen, February benefits are to be sent to beneficiaries on January 20th. Through our work with the SNAP Gap Coalition we are working with our partners and allies to ensure that this happens. The Department of Transitional Assistancewhich manages SNAP benefits in our state, will be posting information on their website and through their Assistance Line (877-382-2363) as it becomes available.
Looking past February, state action may be necessary to keep these critically important programs operational. “As outlined in the plan, states have until January 20 to request and implement the early issuance of SNAP benefits for February; WIC will have sufficient funds to cover expenditures through February; and child nutrition programs, like school meals, Summer Food, and CACFP, would have necessary funding through March” (FRAC). We are coordinating efforts on the state level and with our national affiliate to advocate for continuation of SNAP and other federal nutrition programs.


  • Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI) with input from the four Food Banks and Project Bread, has created a flier about what’s happening in SNAP for you to share with your clients: in ENGLISH and SPANISH.
  • Here’s a link to DTA’s shutdown webpage, which includes a helpful Q &A for SNAP households and community groups. DTA will be regularly updating that webpage, as well as updating their recording on the main DTA Assistance Line: 1-877-382-2362.
  • Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline can also advise constituents and refer individual to key resources: 1-800-645-8333.
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