Western Center and the California Association of Food Banks has issued a joint press release on the announcement of the March 1st issuance date for CalFresh food stamp benefits, which was impacted by the recent federal government shutdown.
To read the full statement, and for contact information, click here. A highlight from the statement is below:
“Food banks are on the front lines of hunger caused by the shutdown,” said Andrew Cheyne, Director of Government Affairs for the California Association of Food Banks. “Even in regular circumstances, nearly one-third of CalFresh households rely on food banks because benefits don’t last the month – the February SNAP gap has made the situation far worse. We thank the Department and counties for doing what they can to mitigate harm to the 3.8 million Californians who rely on CalFresh to eat.”
In 2015, Western Center brought a case against the USDA, Smith v. USDA, to defend SNAP recipients’ rights to benefits during a shutdown. When that shutdown was averted, the judge dismissed the case as moot, citing lack of evidence that a shutdown would occur again. However, the most recent shutdown-related events show that the need to establish protections for SNAP recipients under a shutdown remains relevant.
Last month, Western Center sent a letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue asking for further clarification about SNAP issuance during the shutdown. Western Center will continue to monitor federal government actions that affect SNAP in an effort to ensure all recipients receive the benefits they are entitled to.