January 11, 2019 – Statement from Feeding Indiana’s Hungry
Today marks the end of the third week of the federal government shutdown. This morning,Indiana’s Family & Social Services Administration (FSSA) announced it plans to release SNAP benefits for the month of February early, on January 19th. No SNAP benefits will be issued within the month of February; March distribution remains unknown, depending reserve funds or an end to the shutdown.
Statement attributable to Emily Weikert Bryant, Executive Director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry:
“We appreciate FSSA’s commitment to deliver services within their power to prevent nearly 600,000 Hoosiers from experiencing a deeper lack of access to food,”
“We remain seriously concerned about the impact of this shutdown on Hoosiers at risk of hunger, however. As a result of this government shutdown, SNAP benefits will not be issued between the end of January and, at best, early March. Our clients already report that SNAP benefits don’t last for the full month, which is why they also rely on the charitable sector to put enough food on the table. We fully expect an overwhelming demand on our food banks and the pantries they serve in the month of February and perhaps beyond,”
“We also recognize that many federal employees are now missing paychecks, which could put them at risk of hunger. We would encourage anyone in need of help to call Indiana 2-1-1 to find community resources to help get through the shutdown,”
“Finally, we would implore our elected officials to end this government shutdown. Food insecurity, by definition, is not knowing from where your next meal will come. Without the security of consistent access to federal nutrition programs like SNAP through the United States Department of Agriculture, thousands of Hoosier families are further in danger of experiencing hunger, which is unacceptable.”