BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The federal government shutdown is not affecting the ability for people to get their food stamps.
The USDA announced it will continue to fund the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) through February. After 7 Eyewitness News talked to seven of the eight social service commissioners in Western New York, they all said the same thing. It's business as usual for people who use food stamps.
“But if there is anybody who is qualified for snap you should continue to apply for snap if you need to re-certify we tell you to re-certify," Marianne Cannon, Erie County's Commissioner of Social Services, said.
So if you previously used food stamps, you continue to re-enroll as you have in the past. That's good news for the roughly 200,000 people Western New Yorker's who use it.
If the shutdown continues past February, it's unclear what will happen. Mark Poloncarz, Erie County Executive, said it's unlikely local governments will pick up the tab.
"Id have to take money from somewhere else to pay for it. That's why these programs that are currently affected by the shutdown are on hold," Poloncarz said.
Erie County would have to re-allocate $18 million dollars to fund SNAP for just one month.