Will a Government Shutdown Affect Food Stamps?

A government shutdown could affect certain food stamp benefits. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP, is funded by the federal government but administered by individual state agencies. A federal shutdown could block funds from reaching state governments and consequently from being allocated to recipients.

In 2013, the federal government shut down for 16 days. Because SNAP funds are allocated to states on an annual basis, no interruption of benefits occurred during the shutdown.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture funds the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. In 2013, the USDA freed up contingency funds when some states were unable to provide WIC vouchers to recipients; however, some recipients did not receive vouchers for infant formula during the shutdown.