Feeding South Dakota Growing Need During Government Shutdown
As the Federal Government Shutdown continues into a new record-setting length, South Dakotans receiving assistance through the SNAP program are looking for alternative ways to put food on their table.
According to the South Dakota Department of Social Services, nearly 90,000 South Dakotans received The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in November 2018, half of them under the age of 18.
Feeding South Dakota is already working on acquiring more food, gathering volunteers and securing the finances to bring more food to those who are food insecure. The organization anticipates it will start to see a significant increase in food demand on February 5th.
“We were pleased to learn this week that USDA was able to find a way to fully fund SNAP benefits for February, and benefits will be issued on January 20,” said Matt Gassen, Feeding South Dakota Chief Executive Officer. “But we’re concerned this process will lead to confusion and disruption in the lives of South Dakotans who rely on this program, and we need the help of our supporters to ensure people in their communities who need food assistance can continue to get the help they need.”
SNAP program beneficiaries are not the only individuals that Feeding South Dakota is thinking of. The employees furloughed during the government shutdown may also be in need.
In November 2018, DSS reported there were $10.3 million in SNAP benefits spent in South Dakota, which equates to an average household benefit of $267.78. Feeding South Dakota estimates it will take over 5 million pounds of food per month to make up for that loss in SNAP food benefits.