Federal government shut down – what we know

With the federal government closed since Tues, Oct. 1 and no Continuing Resolution on the budget in sight, advocates need to let Congress know this shut down hurts constituents. It needs to end now!

Some of Washington’s federal programs, like WIC, can only continue operations with reserves and carry over funds from last fiscal year. If the shut down continues much longer, those programs will run out funds. Closing down programs hurts hungry families, hurts employees who won’t get paid, and hurts organizations whose mission it is to serve our most vulnerable residents.

Federal government shut down – what we know:

  • SNAP funding will continue and clients will continue to receive benefits.
  • No additional federal funds are available for SNAP Nutrition Education and SNAP Employment & Training programs, though Washington may have a small amount of carry-over funds that could support programs for a short period.
  • No additional federal funds are available to support the WIC clinical services, food benefits and administrative costs. Washington’s WIC Program has carry-over funds to last until approximately October 10. It’s not expected that WIC clinics will close but those decisions are made locally.
  • No additional federal funds are available to support emergency food programs – the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) administrative funding, and the WIC Farmers’ Markets Nutrition Program (FMNP). Similarly, no new funds will be available to support the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR).
  • Child nutrition programs – School Breakfast and School Lunch, Child & Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), Summer Meals – will continue into October.

TAKE ACTION: What you can do

Call or email your Congress member to say: “I urge you to end the government shut down now and negotiate a budget that protects programs that serve hungry families.” As a top-ranking member of her party’s leadership, messages from constituents to Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers could be especially effective: “As a member of your party’s leadership, you can end the government shut down now – I urge you to do end it and to protect hungry families in budget negotiations.”

Make sure your Congress member hears clients’ stories about the impact of losing services. We know people are worried about losing benefits or missing meals – Congress wants to hear from them. Our partners already are hearing from Congressional staff who want to understand exactly how this is – and could be – affecting constituents. Call or email client stories that describe how this political crisis could cause a personal crisis for the people you know and serve.

Though many Congressional staff are now on furlough, offices still have some staff at work – and they can still read email or faxes and listen to phone messages, so please speak up!
Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-1)
Phone: (202) 225-6311
Fax: (202) 226-1606

Rep. Rick Larsen (D-2)
Phone: (202) 225-2605
Fax: (202) 225-4420

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-3)
Phone: (202) 225-3536
Fax: (202) 225-3478

Rep. Doc Hastings (R-4)
Phone: (202) 225-5816
Fax: (202) 225-3251

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-5)
Phone: (202) 225-2006
Fax: (202) 225-3392

Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-6)
Phone: (202) 225-5916
Fax: (202) 225-3575

Rep. Jim McDermott (D-7)
Phone: (202) 225-3106
Fax: (202) 225-6197

Rep. Dave Reichert (R-8)
Phone: (202) 225-7761
Fax: (202) 225-4282

Rep. Adam Smith (D-9)
Phone: (202) 225-8901
Fax: (202) 225-5893

Rep. Denny Heck (D-10)
Phone: (202) 225-9740
Fax: (202) 225-0129