El Paso residents who use food stamps, growing concerned with government shutdown

El Paso News

The U.S. Government Shutdown is entering it’s third week and raising concerns for those who use food assistance programs. 

Some people in the Borderland who use places like WIC offices are worrying on how the shutdown can affect their basic needs, starting with groceries.

“I worry because you know a lot of people are part of this and shutting it down it will be affecting a lot of people,” said resident Ida Ibarra.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps, will continue to be funded through the end of January.

The Texas Health and Human Services Department said in an email: “We’re monitoring the shutdown and preparing for potential impacts to our programs, and so far there are no imminent changes for people with regard to SNAP and WIC.”

But many in the borderland are wondering what happens after January.

“I cant even imagine, we’ll die of hunger…no, I’m just exaggerating but we’ll have to find a way to survive if they cut the food stamps. I mean we have to just find a way to make things work,” El Paso resident Beatriz Hernandez-Saucedo said.

A Texas Health and Human Services spokesperson said in the same email that it continues to work toward the possibility of adjusting services if the shutdown continues.

“I think the best thing is to go out there and look for a job because I mean there’s no benefits being given out,” said Estela Portillo. “They didn’t say anything if it would be reduced or still going on the same or increase. They didn’t mention none of that so they just have us there on the lookout to see what’s going to happen next.”

Other supplemental programs like WIC say it is completely funded through the rest of this month as well. 

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