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Government Shutdown Timeline of Key Events

Sep 20, 2023 | FBST, Foodbank Blog, Advocacy

Shutdown Beginning Oct. 1, 2023

Last updated: Sept. 19, 2023


If Congress does not pass legislation to fund the federal government by Sept. 30—or temporarily extend current funding through a “continuing resolution”—the government will shut down. The timeline below illustrates some of the major milestones that would impact individuals experiencing food insecurity and network members’ ability to serve their communities.1

Summary of Key Dates

· Oct. 1 (day 1): Shutdown begins; SNAP benefits will be available in full and on their normal monthly issuance schedule · Oct. 4 (day 4): Federal employees likely to receive their paycheck as scheduled

· Oct. 18 (day 18): First missed paycheck for federal employees

· Nov. 1 (day 32): Second missed paycheck for federal employees; SNAP benefits and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits and services could be incomplete and disrupted


October 1 (Day 1)


The federal government is currently funded through midnight on Sept. 30. As we get closer to this date, the USDA will release additional guidance on how it will manage federal nutrition programs if the government shuts down.


Here is the best information we have about the funding status of federal nutrition programs at the time of a shutdown:

· SNAP: As in past shutdowns, there are options available to the USDA to help ensure complete, uninterrupted funding for SNAP. USDA has confirmed that October SNAP benefits will be available in full and on their normal monthly issuance schedule. If the shutdown lasts until November, SNAP benefits could be incomplete and disrupted.

· USDA Commodity Food Purchases and Administrative Funds: During a shutdown, food banks may see disruptions in storage and distribution funding for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). Purchased and confirmed food orders for TEFAP and CSFP should be delivered to food banks as expected. Food purchases and administrative funds for the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) could be disrupted. During previous shutdowns, FDPIR

sites facing funding gaps were forced to furlough workers, which had a cascading impact that interrupted food deliveries and distributions to individuals and families.

· WIC: USDA should have enough funds to provide full WIC benefits in October, but it is unclear if they will have sufficient funding for November.

· Child Nutrition Programs: School, summer and afterschool meal programs are able to continue providing meals to children and are generally not disrupted. These programs have more flexibility during a shutdown as they operate on a reimbursement model after meals have already been provided (for example, schools are reimbursed 30 days after the end of the service month). A prolonged shutdown could lead to delays in reimbursement and general support for child nutrition programs due to the impact of federal workers being furloughed.

· Medicaid/Medicare: Payments for Medicare would continue, though at a slower rate than if the government was fully functioning. The effects of the government shutdown are most likely to be experienced in the form of delays in reimbursement and other payments as a result of staff shortages. In a prolonged shutdown, fewer recertification and initial surveys for Medicare and Medicaid providers would be completed, putting beneficiaries at risk of quality-of-care deficiencies.

· Social Security: The Social Security trust fund is paid for through a combination of taxes and long-term investments, therefore a short-term shutdown would not have an effect. Social Security checks should continue to be mailed on time.


October 4 (Day 4) · Federal employees are likely to receive their paychecks as scheduled.


October 13 (Day 13)

· Congress must pass and the president must sign a spending agreement by this date to prevent disruption to the next round of federal paychecks.


October 18 (Day 18) · Federal employees are likely to miss their first paycheck.


November 1 (Day 32)

· SNAP benefits are unlikely to be available for the month, a loss of around $7.5 billion in purchasing power from nearly 42 million individuals.

· WIC benefits and services are likely to be incomplete and disrupted. · Federal employees are likely to miss their second paycheck.


You can find contact information for our national legislators at this link.