The government shutdown is in its third week, and it’s continuing to affect people nationwide. One program that could be affected if the shutdown continues to the end of the month is SNAP, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Many Rochester residents have started thinking about what they will do if SNAP benefits are taken away. Even though SNAP is automatically renewed, it doesn’t have funding set aside from Congress past January.
Roseann Lackey, program manager at the Charles Settlement House, is one person gearing up for any possibility.
“We can just do the best we can. It’s a situation that we’ve never really had to think about, it has never happened, it’ll be a learning curve and hopefully it won’t happen,” Lackey said.
But if it does happen, it could affect 122 thousand Monroe County residents who are currently receiving SNAP benefits, which is 16.2 percent of the population.
Leandra Harville is one of these residents who could be affected.
“There are so many families that are either on disability or not working or unemployed and some that are even homeless that actually need the food programs to provide for their families,” said Harville.
Lackey said that with the help of the community, those families should still be okay, but she hopes it doesn’t get to that point.
“I believe where there’s a will there’s a way. We’re gonna help the best we can and not to worry about it yet. We’re gonna make sure that our children and our families are taken care of one way or the other.”