Shutdown Affecting DFS | Big Horn Basin Media

Needy Families May Face Further Hardship

Written by on January 16, 2019

Wyoming could face serious funding holes to services for its neediest residents if the partial federal shutdown drags on. 

An article from WyoFile reports that the bulk of the 3,674 non-military federal employees in Wyoming did not receive paychecks Friday. Those lost wages cost the economy roughly $8.3 million, according to an analysis of data from the Wyoming Division of Research & Planning.

State officials say that funding for food stamp programs administered by the Wyoming Department of Health and Department of Family Services will dry up in February and March if the shutdown continues. The health and family services departments stand to lose as much as $4 million a month.

With government solutions lacking, DFS looked for help from Wyoming citizens in a Monday news release. The department encouraged residents to donate funds, food, or volunteer at local food banks and similar organizations that may see an increase of customers if the shutdown continues.

The DFS is making its February payment to SNAP recipients early. There are over 12 thousand Wyoming families receiving SNAP benefits each year, and according to a spokesman for the agency, if the shutdown continues into March, they will run out of funding. The state receives around $3.5 million a month for the program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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