As WRFA reported last week, some 500 families across the 23rd Congressional District, which includes all of Chautauqua County, have not received a paycheck from the government during the shutdown. That was according to Congressman Tom Reed’s Office.
We were not able to get a specific number for families in Chautauqua County or the Jamestown area. However, the Post-Journal is reporting that 128 families have received assistance this week through a special food distribution by the Food Bank of WNY and held at the Salvation Army in Jamestown. Some of those families include those affected by the shutdown – though a specific number was not provided in the report.
In addition to federal workers not receiving pay, the shutdown is also affecting residents who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP and formerly referred to as food stamps.
Families that rely on SNAP, including those in Chautauqua County, received their SNAP benefits for the month of February earlier than expected.
According to the Post-Journal, local social services districts including the one here in the county had to recertify SNAP recipients early and it was done last week, so SNAP recipients received a larger than normal amount of money on the EBT card because it also included February’s amount.
As a result, the SNAP recipients are being advised to ration their food credits through the end of February.