DHS News

About the partial federal government shutdown

Message from DHS Director Fariborz Pakseresht​

January 10, 2019

The partial federal government shutdown is nearing the three-week mark and with slow progress toward a resolution, I wanted to share an update about potential impacts on DHS.

We are following the situation carefully and are staying in close touch with our federal partners and the Governor's Office to make sure we have the most current information.

Here's what we know today:

  • We are monitoring our available fund balances for all programs and we are confident there would be no interruption of services through at least February.

  • Although we have funding to cover the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) monthly distribution of food benefits for February, we will need to distribute them early. SNAP food benefits are federally funded and the program's oversight agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is directing states to distribute February food benefits before the federal appropriation that funds the program expires on January 20, 2019.

Self-Sufficiency Programs (SSP) administers SNAP and will be communicating details about the early distribution of food benefits to the SSP and Aging and People with Disabilities/Area Agencies on Aging (APD/AAA) field staff who work with SNAP participants. SSP also is developing communications for SNAP participants and keeping in close touch with the USDA and local partners like the Oregon Food Bank.

SNAP is our second-largest program and serves one in five Oregonians who depend on it for food and nutrition. We appreciate every DHS team member being prepared to refer clients who have questions about SNAP benefits to their local SSP or APD/AAA office. We also know that SNAP benefits are a tremendous help to Oregonians but often don't cover a full month's food budget. If people are concerned about running out of SNAP benefits, we can refer them to 211 Info to seek local food resources. And, as you do so generously during the Governor's Annual Food Drive, you can voluntarily continue your support of the Oregon Food Bank.

We are making contingency plans in case the shutdown extends past February. We will share information if we need to activate those plans.

All DHS team members work here because they want to help people live their best lives. Circumstances like these are difficult as we try to support those around us who are directly impacted by the shutdown. Thank you for keeping a steady focus on supporting each other and the Oregonians who participate in our programs. I appreciate your dedication.