Skip to content
Northwest Harvest
Donate Now
Find Partner Food Programs

2023 Federal Government Shutdown Information

Information last updated: 10/4/2023 

As many of you are aware, Congress passed a 45-day continuing resolution and narrowly avoided a government shutdown last weekend. The new date by which Congress must pass various appropriations bills to avoid shutdown is November 17.

We recognize that many are anxious about the potential impacts of a federal government shutdown and any disruptions to government services or public benefits. We have collected information that is as complete and as accurate as possible at this time. We will continue to update this page with new and confirmed information as we receive it.  

What does the shutdown mean for people who receive public benefits, like SNAP? 

  • 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 and November SNAP benefits will be available in full and on their normal monthly issuance schedule. If the shutdown goes into effect in mid-N, SNAP benefits could be incomplete and disrupted. 
  • WIC: The Washington WIC agency has confirmed that WIC benefits and services will continue undisrupted for current recipients for a number of months, even without federal funding. It is possible, depending on how long the potential shutdown lasts, that benefits may be disrupted at some point. More information will be made available in advance about a potential disruption. Visit the Department of Health’s WIC page for updates. 
  • Child nutrition programs: Child nutrition programs are expected to operate as normal. This includes school breakfast and lunch, and afterschool meals through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). A prolonged shutdown could lead to delays in workers being furloughed. 
  • Other public benefits (including TANF, Medicaid, SSI/SSDI, and Social Security): We do not currently have information regarding any potential disruption to other benefits but will update this page when it becomes available. In the meantime, you can refer to this DSHS FAQ that was prepared for the last federal government shutdown in 2019.