Mitch Gruber

The Connection Between the Federal Shutdown and SNAP

I spent a lot of time this January talking about the #trumpshutdown and its impact on thousands of people here in Rochester. Between my role on Council and my “day job” as the Chief Program Officer at Foodlink, I was able to describe the hardship of a government shutdown for people who rely on SNAP benefits.

From Channel 13 WHAM:

“Foodlink Chief Program Officer Mitch Gruber said the partial government shutdown could cause federal funds for food assistance programs, such as SNAP, to run out by February.

“There is funding secured throughout the month of January for SNAP benefits, but if the shutdown goes on until February there’s only about $3 billion in reserves for a program that typically spends about $5 billion a month (nationwide),” Gruber said.

If there is a disruption in benefits, Gruber said it would impact the nearly 120,000 people in Monroe County alone who rely on SNAP benefits.

“One of the ways that people are going to be impacted the most is where they eat,” he said. “That’s where people will feel it the most, and that’s when we’ll really start to see the concern bubble up.”

Foodlink provides food to food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters to help people in need. According to Gruber, a disruption in SNAP would cause more people to turn to these nonprofits creating a need Foodlink may not be able to meet.

“There is not necessarily the food to go around to all those individuals,” said Gruber. “This is a program that has been very successful in ensuring that people have the opportunity to eat and people do rely on that money to make sure they can get through the month.”

Read the full article here: Prolonged Shutdown Could Leave Dozens without SNAP Benefits

Later in the month, on January 22, I was interviewed on WDKX. We talked about what was happening with SNAP and the Federal Shutdown, and the temporary changes that were resulting for SNAP Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT). You can listen to our conversation here: EBT Info and SNAP Benefits.

How to contact us:

When you have questions or ideas, please reach out to us.


office phone:
City Council main phone:

City Hall, Room 301, 30 Church Street, Rochester, NY 14614

To stay up to date on our work, please like and follow my Facebook page, and sign up below to receive occasional email newsletters.



What You Need to Know About VoteStart

The perfect way to get a head start in your upcoming political campaign.

2976 Washington St
San Francisco, CA 94115

Follow us:

Chip in now, every dollar helps in the crtical final moments of this campaign.

Fiona Anderwood