GOVERNMENT TEMPORARILY OPEN THROUGH FEBRUARY 15TH
Is the partial government shutdown affecting you?
ORCCA and our partners may be able to help!
From a hunger perspective, the end of the shutdown is good news. The agreement ensures that federal employees will return to work and receive back pay, and SNAP benefits will be funded at least through April.
But even though the shutdown has ended, consequences will continue. Oregon SNAP participants received their February benefits on January 18, meaning their March benefits won’t be issued until March 1-9. That could be a gap of up to 50 days for some households.
The shutdown highlighted a few things worth repeating.
SNAP remains the first line of defense against hunger in the U.S. (helping almost 40 million people—mostly seniors, veterans, children, and people with disabilities) and the charitable hunger-relief system cannot make up for cuts to (or the loss of) the program.
Millions of Americans truly remain “one paycheck away” from needing assistance to make ends meet.
Oregonians cared about the shutdown’s impact on people’s ability to have enough to eat. Almost 2,200 Oregon Food Bank supporters signed a letter to Sen. McConnell, urging him to take steps to re-open the government.
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Information below is updated as of 01/28/2019
Are impacted federal employees and others eligible for Emergency Food Services services?
Yes! As always, we operate under the assumption that people coming to us for services do so when they need it, and give back when they can.
TEFAP eligibility is based on either monthly or yearly income. From the TEFAP manual: “To determine the household income level, either the last months or the last year’s income can be used. This flexibility is intended to allow households which have experienced recent, adverse situations, to participate in the program.”
Anyone that meets either the monthly or yearly eligibility requirements is eligible to receive TEFAP food.
For more information on TEFAP Eligibility please contact the SCFS at (541) 435-7754
What about SNAP benefits, are those going to run out?
Oregon SNAP participants received their February benefits on January 18, meaning their March benefits won’t be issued until March 1-9. That could be a gap of up to 50 days for some households. We encourage our SNAP users to budget SNAP dollars and utilize their local food bank.
It is important to note that even though we commit to doing all we can to support and provide assistance to people impacted by this situation, food banks simply cannot replace these critical federal nutrition programs.
What about child nutrition programs like WIC and school meals?
WIC benefits are covered until April 1, 2019. For school meals, states have funds for January and USDA will provide funds for February and March.
Oregon Coast Community Action may be able to help!
You may qualify for our programs which could help offset the loss of or redirected wages that you or your family are experiencing.
“ORCCA received information from the Department of Veterans Affairs that Federal Employees (Veterans) who are currently on furlough are eligible to receive assistance from the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program. This assistance may cover a broad scope of needs, from rental assistance, utility assistance to transportation. Please contact the SSVF Specialist at the main building on LaClair Street in Coos Bay.”
Please contact ORCCA for more questions on services that may be available to help you including but not limited to rent assistance programs.
What can I do to support my community through the government shutdown?
Send targeted messaging to clients about SNAP and WIC benefits. It’s important to spread the word that both of these programs are operating without interruption so people apply for, and utilize, benefits as usual. Past shutdowns have led to unnecessary drops in enrollment and benefit redemption due to confusion and misinformation.
Inform local media and federal institutions in your community that help is available for impacted federal employees and others. Those seeking food assistance can find the nearest pantry or meal site on our Coos/Curry Food Resource Guide
Demonstrate the compassion with which you provide service. Many folks affected by the shutdown may be seeking your service for the first time and may never have expected to need help. This is a tremendous opportunity to engage your community and highlight the amazing work you do.
Help collect stories. We’ve created a Google form to collect stories from people impacted by the government shutdown to share with our elected officials and local/state media. Encourage your agencies to collect stories on the shutdown’s impact and share any that you have heard.
Additional information and ways to get involved regarding the partial shut down: