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Food Stamp Programs Continue, Despite Shutdown


To President Donald Trump, the government shutdown is a means to an end. But for millions of other Americans, it’s a threat to their food source or their housing.

Dawn Myers manages Oregon’s food stamp program. She says her department has been fielding calls from worried people.

“It’s a difficult time,” Myers said. “It’s always stressful for people when they’re unsure about receiving benefits.”

The federal government has dipped into contingency funds to provide food stamps through February. State programs like CalFresh are issuing those funds early; either on or before Jan. 20th.

But, there’s no word yet as to what will happen if the shutdown drags into March.

As for the country’s Section 8 housing voucher program, it’s still running normally and accepting new applicants. However, like the food stamp program, it only has enough funding to last through next month.

April Ehrlich is an editor and reporter at Oregon Public Broadcasting. Previously, she was a news host and reporter at Jefferson Public Radio.