Partial government shutdown to affect SNAP benefits, local food banks step in

Partial government shutdown to effect SNAP benefits, local food banks step in

Tomorrow marks day 20 of the partial government shutdown and tonight we're learning more about its potential impacts to the Treasure Valley.

One aspect, is receiving benefits from the supplemental nutrition assistance program or SNAP.

While benefits are paid through February, after that, millions of Americans who receive benefits from SNAP could face severe cuts to food stamps.

Right now, The Idaho FoodBank is already preparing for that possibility.

221,800 Idahoans are considered food insecure meaning they don't know where there next meal will come from.

The Idaho Quest Card, commonly known as a food stamp card, gives hundreds of Idahoans access to healthy and nutritious foods.

With the partial government shutdown moving into day 19, Idaho food banks are preparing to feed thousands of Idahoans.

Karen Vauk, President and CEO of the Idaho Food Bank says, SNAP is a major safety net for thousands of Idahoans who are struggling with food insecurity.

With no end in sight to the government shutdown, this need for food will fall to our local food banks and food pantries which she says, they can't sustain.

She tells CBS 2 News in order to serve as many Idahoans as SNAP does, The Idaho FoodBank would need 12 times the volume of food.

While there's no specific timeline, she says if the shutdown continues eventually some families could have a harder time accesses not only affordable food but nutritious food.

"They start to make tough choices and cut corners and often times it's the food budget that gets cut first," says Vauk. "We can get kids back in school, we can get winter coats, pay for heat, pay the rent and all those costs add up, and if we don't have the food budget and we don't have snap there is a serious gap for a lot of families."

You can click HERE to go to the Idaho Foodbank website where you can find food banks in your area based on zip code.

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