Government shutdown impacting SNAP benefits

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As the government shutdown continues, officials are offering help to residents who receive government benefits. 

San Francisco resident Bill Johnston isn’t a furloughed employee. He’s a part-time worker who’s looking for full-time work. 

Johnston receives SNAP benefits and is concerned about being cut off. 

He said, “You know it starts with the government employees and it’s going to trickle down to the rest of us sooner or later.”

SNAP is a federal program that provides food assistance to tens of thousands of families in need. 

Tish Gallegos, a spokesperson for the Contra Costa County’s Employment and Human Services (EHSD) said, “Our department is awaiting further guidance and closely monitoring the situation in Washington D.C.”

The department oversees the state’s CalFresh program and they issued benefits for February more than two weeks early. 

Gallegos said, “We want to be able to continue with our partner organizations such as the Contra Costa and Solano County Food Bank to ensure that all of our community members remain healthy, safe and secure.”

Even though customers received benefits early, the concern is to spend it wisely. 

She said, “They’re going to have to last through the end of February.”

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