County to review potential impacts of continuing federal shutdown

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President Donald Trump campaigned on the promise of building a wall at the U.S.-Mexican border. A stalemate over the funding has caused a month-long federal government shutdown. (Wikimedia Commons)

Nassau County departments will evaluate the potential impacts the federal government’s partial shutdown could have on the county as it persists indefinitely, County Executive Laura Curran said Tuesday.

More than 14,000 federal employees out of work are Long Islanders, said U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D–Garden City), according to a county news release.

Since the shutdown began Dec. 22, about 800,000 such employees nationwide have gone without pay, she said.

“I will work tirelessly to protect our most vulnerable as the president’s demand for a wall threatens daily lives,” Curran said.

New Yorkers who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits normally receive a full month’s worth of benefits during the first two weeks of the month, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for the program. Most, however, already got their February benefits on Jan. 17.

The department has not modified the value of the February benefits despite offering them early.

“New Yorkers receiving their February SNAP benefits early need to carefully plan their food budgets as this will need to last through the entire month,” Samuel D. Roberts, the commissioner of New York’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, said in a news release.

Island Harvest Food Bank is helping Long Islanders apply for SNAP benefits and plans on “providing supplemental food support,” the organization’s CEO, Randi Dresner, said.

“It’s important for those impacted by the shutdown to know that there’s no shame in asking for help and we want to reassure people facing a potential crisis that Island Harvest Food Bank, along with our community partners, can be the helping hand they need,” she said.

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