Connecticut Lawmakers & Groups Helping Furloughed Workers
Foodshare is now offering two options to federal employees in need of food during the partial government shutdown:
- A food pantry every Wednesday from 4–7 p.m. at Foodshare (450 Woodland Avenue in Bloomfield)
- A mobile pop-up pantry every Thursday from 7-9 a.m. at the TSA offices (336 Ella Grasso Turnpike in Windsor Locks)
Foodshare will provide these services throughout the duration of the partial government shutdown. Employees are requested to bring their federal photo IDs and reusable shopping bags.
These extra services are a part of our mission as a foodbank, but they are both costly and unbudgeted. Members of the public who are able to financially support Foodshare during this time are encouraged to visit www.foodshare.org.
Breaking: State Department Taking Steps to Pay Employees Salaries
The Department of State is taking steps to pay employees who have been affected by the partial government shutdown. In a statement released yesterday, the Deputy Under Secretary said the Department expects to resume operations and fund most salaries beginning on January 20th. Employees will not receive paychecks for that pay period until February 14th. President Donald Trump signed a bill Wednesday that will provide back-pay to federal workers who missed paychecks as soon as the government reopens. CLICK HERE to see the video.
CT Humane Pet Food Pantry to help federal workers
NEWINGTON, January 17, 2019 — Federal workers affected by the government shut-down can find a helping hand for their pets at the Connecticut Humane Society’s Pet Food Pantry.
CHS will be distributing free food for cats, dogs and small critters across the state, and asking the public for assistance in boosting the available food supply.
HOW YOU CAN HELP: Please donate pet supplies from dog 7 cat food, to food for birds and little critters like hamsters! Leashes, food bowls, wee-wee pads or even cash donations!
If YOU are a furloughed work you may visit the Newington, CT location on Wednesday 1.23.19 starting at 2pm to receive pet supplies. CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS
WHAT YOU NEED: Federal workers in need of CHS’ Pet Food Pantry assistance are asked to fill out an online form on CHS’ website, www.cthumane.org, with their name and contact information, as well as the number of pets who need food and their breed and size. They will be asked to present their federal employee ID when picking up their food.
TO NOTE: Federal workers can pick up the pet food on Wednesday, Jan. 23, from 2-5 p.m. at CHS’ Newington location at 701 Russell Road. CHS will also distribute pet food and supplies to the Coast Guard.
CHS will be holding a pet food drive at its Newington location on Tuesday, Jan. 22, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Staff and volunteers will be accepting donated food and sorting it for distribution.
Monetary donations are also welcome at bit.ly/fillpetsbowls so that CHS can purchase and distribute additional pet food as needed.
All varieties of cat and dog food will be needed, including dry food and cans and grain-free formulas, as well as food for small animals, like Timothy hay and pellets for guinea pigs and rabbits. All varieties of cat litter would also be helpful.
Important information regarding SNAP benefits during the government shutdown
A Special Message from Daniel Giacomi, Department of Social Services SNAP Program Administration Manager:As I am sure you are aware, the partial shutdown of the federal government is on its 24th day. Because of the lack of federal funding due to the extended shutdown, over 380,000 residents in Connecticut were at risk of not receiving their February food assistance. When it became clear that the partial shutdown would not end quickly, DSS began working with the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and other stakeholders to insure issuance of February benefits occurred. After initial conversations, FNS determined that the best course of action was to provide SNAP benefits to all eligible members early.FNS then instructed all states to accomplish this goal by providing the early February issuance of SNAP benefits by Sunday January 20th. If a household has already been determined eligible to receive February SNAP benefits, they will see the deposit on their EBT card by this day. We expect all February benefits to be available on the same day - there will not be a staggered release. This is not an "extra" or "bonus" benefit; clients will not get any more benefits in early February. We encourage staff, when speaking with clients, to strongly recommend that they budget their SNAP benefits accordingly to ensure the amount received provides for their food needs through the entire month of February. Note that the early issuance of benefits only applies to SNAP; cash benefits will not be affected and will be available the first three days of February.Going forward, the agency will continue to function under normal procedures including the processing of new applications, periodic report forms, renewals (both those outstanding and those due in February), reinstatements, and the re-opening of cases after January 20th and into February. There is funding within the federal SNAP contingency for these cases. Here is a list of questions and answers that I encourage you to read through as it provides critical information to questions you may have as well as those our clients may ask. Also, here is a copy of the notice mailed to our SNAP eligible caseload. In addition to this notice, information about the early issuance will be posted on the DSS website - www.ct.gov/SNAP - IVR, MyAccount Client Portal, Lobby televisions, posters, or fliers in all of our field offices, and within emails sent to MyAccount users. Thank you, Daniel R. Giacomi
SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps): The CT Department of Social Services is working hard to make sure that people currently receiving SNAP benefits will receive their February SNAP benefits on or before January 20, 2019. February benefits are arriving earlier than usual and there will be no additional SNAP benefits issued in February. If you believe you or someone you know is eligible for SNAP, urge them to apply (check if you may be eligible now at www.ctsnap.org or call toll free 866.974.SNAP (7627)). SNAP applications will be processed as normal through the month of February - current SNAP recipients receiving benefits early does not change the regular SNAP application process and granting of benefits through February. Please refer to this helpful information from CT Department of Social Services to learn more.
School and Child Nutrition: The Connecticut State Department of Education is partnering closely with U.S. Department of Agriculture to ensure that all school and child nutrition programs (School Breakfast, School Lunch, At-Risk Afterschool Meals, Special Milk Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, etc.) can operate through the month of March.
SNAP and School Meals - a Critical Partnership: If you are a student living in a household with anyone receiving SNAP benefits, you will be automatically able to receive school meals at no cost to you or your household. Although eligibility for school meals takes annual income into consideration, SNAP uses monthly income (assets are not counted - only income). Therefore, even if you do not think your students qualify for free or reduced price school meals, you may still be eligible for SNAP which would also mean your students will be able to receive free meals at school. If your salary has not been paid, if you are furloughed, or if you are between jobs, SNAP can be a critical link for you and your children to important nutrition programs. It doesn't hurt to see if you may be eligible today (www.ctsnap.org or 866.974.SNAP (7627)
Food Banks and Emergency Food: Our fantastic partners at Foodshare and Connecticut Food Bank are coordinating with the CT Department of Social Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture to make sure that the food pantries, shelters, mobile sites, and partners across the state will still have food to distribute to people at risk of hunger throughout the month of February and beyond. Due to the government shutdown, the payments the food banks typically receive to help defray the costs of distributing these critical food resources is not being released. Please help all of our organizations keep these efforts strong by considering donating during this time to any of them.
Want to learn more about the impact of the shutdown on nutrition programs across the nation? Check out Food Research and Action Center for the most cutting edge information available.Please remember that EHC! can help people apply for SNAP, navigate their PRFs, redeterminations, and set-up their MyAccounts. We have availability on evenings and weekends and by appointment. Click on the SNAP image below, visit us at https://www.endhungerct.org/snap/ or call us at 866.974.SNAP (7627)
USDA Set to Propose New Rule for SNAP
The USDA is getting ready to propose a new rule around SNAP that would diminish food assistance for unemployed and underemployed people in areas with insufficient jobs. This will arbitrarily limit states' ability to provide benefits while increasing hunger and poverty. Please visit FRAC for more information about this move here: http://frac.org/news/usda-proposed-snap-rule
Capital Community College offers FREE career training program to eligible SNAP recipients!
The School of Workforce and Continuing Education at Capital Community College is offering many exciting programs for students interested in pursuing careers in business and entrepreneurship, healthcare, social services, and culinary arts.Some benefits of their programs include:
- Students enrolled in SNAP or receiving assistance through WIOA may be eligible for a scholarship to receive free career training for eligible programs
- Free resume and cover letter writing assistance
- Free financial literacy workshops
- Career fairs and job search assistance....and more!
A local soda company is trying to make people smile during a very difficult situation.
Avery’s Beverages in New Britain has concocted a tasty treat that makes light of the government shutdown.
Avery’s has a long-standing tradition of making fun of every single sort of political situation imaginable.
This week they unveiled their newest product, calling it Shutdown Swill.
To make it, Avery’s started with a blend of orange and blue raspberry flavors which creates an intentionally green liquid.
“We knew we wanted a green soda cause it’s all about the money right so it had to be green for money,” said General Manager Rob Metz.
Shutdown Swill also calls for a lot of citric acid for just the right bitterness.
“If you’re a federal employee, I think you’re a little bit bitter now,” Metz said.
Shutdown Swill is just the latest in a long line of politically themed flavors that Avery’s beverages has churned out over the years.
Anything that’s historic topical in the news we try to jump on it. We did Barack Oberry the John McCream.
Metz says Avery’s began designing Shutdown Swill last week when the situation became the longest shutdown ever.
“All of a sudden this is going to become a historical event we need to find some way to commemorate it,” Metz said.
He added that he hopes the product helps people laugh a little during a very difficult situation.
“When things get silly and overblown we need to poke fun of it a little bit,” Metz said.
Avery’s will offer free bottles of Shutdown Swill to all federal employees as a way to thank them and show them that folks are thinking about them.