Government shutdown could cause hungry students


When the government shutdown recently ended, President Donald Trump shared that the government would be running for three weeks. What will happen after this time? Many are unsure, but there is a possibility that another shutdown     could occur. 

If another shutdown were to occur, many benefits could be lost again. One of these benefits is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP, formerly food stamps,  helps keep 4.7 million households out of poverty.

Most people who use SNAP are children and older people. 45 percent of those who receive SNAP were under the age of 18 years old.Forty percent of those who use SNAP have a job. Even with a job, there are students on campus who depend on SNAP to provide enough food      each month.

Tatianna Strong, a senior psychology major, shared that she uses food stamps and was angry that SNAP may not be available again           in March.

“Some people truly depend on these services so it is upsetting. Trump is withholding government services and aid that people live off of for his own selfish needs just because ‘he feels it’s good for this country’,” Strong said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is taking steps to help SNAP be available through February The U.S.D.A. is helping the states fund SNAP to low-income households; they expect to see repayment within 30 days of the government being reopened.

Laura Boone, a ULM alumna and worker for the department of child welfare, said, “The benefits for February were released early which means students have to maintain a tight budget.”

While the government shutdown is over, it is important to keep a tight budget just in case the government shuts down again in three weeks. Although this takes care of households for this month, what will happen if the government shuts down again in three weeks?

While many are still unsure what will occur after these next three weeks, it is important to be mindful on how the food stamps are spent

So, what precautions should be taken for students for the next three weeks?Boone shared it is important to be smart about what you food you buy during this time.

Without food stamps, child poverty would rise by three percent, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. While many students may struggle in silence to figure out what will happen after these next three weeks, Strong made her viewpoint on the matter           very clear.

“We, as citizens of this country, should have all rights and privileges to the aid we require” Strong said.