Government Shutdown Affecting Agriculture Programs

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As the government shutdown continues this week, there are several agriculture programs that are starting to take a hit. The limited funding is starting to impact the Supplemental Nutrition Program that is known as the food stamp program. The Congress’s Recovery Act provides funding until the end of this month but after that the assistance will vary in each state. They are encouraging participants to use their food stamps as soon as possible before the financial support runs out. Another $6 billion program, Women, Infants, and Children program, will be not being operating at all. It is partially funded within the state but could run out of funding in days or weeks. Additionally, the Food Safety and Inspection Service will continue to employ 87% of their people to continually keep food in stores safe to eat. The FDA has been laid off which is a scary thing to think about because they oversee majority of America’s food inspections. We may not be seeing the effects first had, but a longer shutdown could result in more serious penalties.