Regional Food Bank’s Response to Federal Government Shutdown

(OKLAHOMA CITY) — Jan. 11, 2019 – On Friday, Jan. 11, thousands of Oklahomans impacted by the federal government shutdown will not receive a paycheck. This could force many families into a state of economic instability, resulting in food insecurity. The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma wants to assure anyone impacted by the federal government shutdown that they can seek food assistance at more than 300 community-based partner agencies in 53 central and western Oklahoma counties. 

“We have asked our partners to extend their eligibility assistance to anyone impacted by the shutdown,” said Katie Fitzgerald, chief executive officer of the Regional Food Bank. “Too many families live paycheck to paycheck and as a result, missing just one pay day can result in that household having to choose between paying bills or buying food. The Regional Food Bank and its partners are ready to step in and provide food assistance when needed.”

As the shutdown continues, it will continue to impact federal nutrition programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Last year, SNAP provided food assistance for nearly 875,000 Oklahomans. Due to a reserve of funds from the prior fiscal year, the USDA will provide the February benefits to SNAP recipients in late January. At this point, there is no available funding for SNAP in March.

While the Regional Food Bank receives and distributes commodities from the USDA, which are being delayed due to the shutdown, it’s the funding from donors that allows the Regional Food Bank to help fill in the gap during the government shutdown. To make a monetary donation, visit rfbo.org/give or call 405-600-3136. To donate food, call 405-972-1111.

The United States Department of Agriculture has instructed the Oklahoma Department of Human Services to issue February SNAP food benefits to eligible recipients by Jan. 20.