SNAP benefits could be affected as shutdown continues
ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- With the government shutdown entering its third week, there's no signs of it ending any time soon. Now with the shutdown entering its 17th day, its effects could trickle down on people who rely on SNAP benefits.
"At this point, what we're being told by the state is, in absence of a new directive from them, there isn't a current impact from the standpoint that we'll continue to approve SNAP benefits until we hear differently," said Chemung County Department of Human Services Acting Commissioner, Brian Hart.
Hart went on to say the only thing they're uncertain about is what will happen if the shutdown goes on for longer than expected.
"We don't know at that point will there be a takeover in absence of the federal government, will the state make a decision one way or the other to cover the costs," said Hart. "Or will there be other changes? At this point we're continuing to approve the benefits and will continue to in that methodology going forward."
In Chemung County, there are about 7,000 families receiving SNAP benefits. Which relates to about 12,000 individuals. So if worse comes to worse, Hart says if the benefits come to an end, people may have to rely on local food pantries.
"There are local food pantries," said Hart. "For example, operated by Catholic Charities, as one example, and local churches that give away food. But that's going to be a huge impact. They don't have food to cover 12,00 people."
For a list of some area food banks, you can visit these links: