We continue to pay close attention to how the shutdown may affect us and those in need of food assistance - below are the latest updates we have on the effects of the government shutdown to food services.
--- Food for People is still operating as usual. If you or anyone you know is affected by the shutdown and in need of food, Food for People is here to help. Please call us at (707) 445-3166, come by 307 W. 14th street, or click here to find the pantry closest to you. Check out our Mobile Produce Pantry schedule too. ---
Please click here for additional resources and information on financial relief & support in Humboldt County and beyond, plus info related to common questions.
Government Shutdown effects to food services:
• USDA commodities in our pantries and senior programs countywide: For the time being, we have been assured that any federally funded food we access to run our programs will arrive as usual. In the event that the shutdown continues for a long period of time, food orders could be delayed for some programs, if staff involved are on furlough.
• WIC: With existing USDA funding, plus some reserve State funds, WIC checks will continue to be issued at least through March.
• School meals and after-school programs have funding through March.
• Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR): Food orders will be delivered for February, and programs have administrative funding through Jan 31, 2019.
• CalFresh: Please see below from Humboldt County Dept. of Health & Human Services (DHHS)
How this shutdown effects funding for CalFresh:
• DHHS offices are open and work will not be stopping due to this shutdown.
• Although we remain hopeful that Congress and the Trump Administration will come to an agreement to end the government shutdown quickly, there is a chance it could continue past the end of January.
• Should the federal shutdown continue into February, we have grown increasingly worried that Californians who utilize CalFresh food assistance benefits (known as SNAP at the federal level) could see their benefits impacted. SNAP is a federally funded program that is subject to federal appropriation and the state does not share in the cost of these benefits.
• At this time we have been notified that February benefits will be issued 1/16/2019. No notices will be sent out to program participants, due to the short timeframe for implementing this large scale-change to systems.
• Currently, DHHS staff is working diligently to process all reports and re-certifications as quickly as possible so that as many cases as possible can be included in the early issuance.
• Benefits will continue to be issued as normal using reserve funding. Depending on how much longer the shutdown continues, the potential for harm would obviously increase.• Counties will continue to work with our federal, state and local partners to minimize harm to our residents to the greatest extent possible at this challenging time.
During this time, DHHS workers are pulling together to process and get cases ready for issuance. The DHHS Call Center is anticipating an influx of calls in February about the unscheduled issuances and customer concerns.
Click here to view/download a flyer, summarizing impacts on CalFresh, that California Association of Food Banks and Western Center on Law & Poverty worked on with the help of the Department of Social Services. Click here for the Spanish version.