The federal government shut down at midnight Eastern on Oct. 1.

While some programs will have a limited impact on services, many programs in Lebanon will not be affected immediately.

SNAP and WIC

No additional funds are being given to several federal nutrition assistance programs. 

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children program is no exception; however, Oregon's WIC program has enough funding to keep the program running for a few more weeks, said Oregon WIC director Sue Woodberry said.

“We do have funding, and we’re running business as usual,” Woodberry said. “We have funding to last a few weeks – possibly longer.”

Woodberry is working with with other agencies to find other funding options if the government shutdown continues for more than a few weeks, she said.

“Right now we’re asking our WIC clients to purchase healthy foods, and keep their appointments,” Woodberry said. “It’s pretty much wait and see, as time goes on, and finding out who is and isn’t working in the federal government.”

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will continue, and eligible households will receive monthly benefits for October, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s contingency plan.

The WIC Farmers Markets Nutrition Program also will not receive federal funds during the government shutdown; however, that program is already scheduled to end on Oct. 31. There is enough money in the state fund for that program to last until the end of the month, Woodberry said.

So people should be able to continue to shop using those benefits at the Lebanon farmers market, said Rebecca Landis, director of the Albany and Corvallis farmers markets.

Landis also help set up the SNAP and WIC programs for the Lebanon market.

People receive about $32 a month from that program for farmers market produce, she said.

“It’s just a sample; it’s really just an introduction to healthy food,” Landis said.

The farmers markets get a very small percentage of SNAP dollars, she said.

“We’re barely the tail of the dog of these programs; however, they are very important programs to us to bring better, healthier food to people who are not able to pay for it,” Landis said.

Boys & Girls Club

Because of the government shutdown, the Boys & Girls Club of the Greater Santiam is not receiving reimbursement for meals; however the club is still serving food. 

“We are continuing to serve our after-school meals, and have no intention of stopping,” said Executive Director Kris Latimer.

The Club is a sponsor site for Oregon's Hungry Kid program, which is funded by the USDA, and the club receives a per meal reimbursement to cover the cost, she said.

The Club's annual operating budget is $1.4 million, Latimer said. All of that budget is used to provide programs and services annually to more than 3,000 members.

“About 15 percent of our funding annually is received through grant-related programs, such as our meal program,” Latimer said. “This school year we are serving record numbers of kids at all four of our sites and are serving 400 meals a day.”

To donate to the Club for food bills visit, www.bgcgreatersantiam.org/get-involved, or make donations at the Club, 305 S. 5th St. Lebanon.

LFD impact

The government shutdown does not have much effect on the Lebanon Fire District, Chief Dan Woodson said.

The district put in an amendment to one federal grant, but the shutdown just means that amendment will take longer to process, he said.

Those generally take a while to process anyway, Woodson said. So the effect of the government shutdown on LFD is minimal, he added.

Lebanon Community School District 

The federal shutdown will affect the Lebanon Community School District if it continues for a lengthy period, said LSCD Business Director Linda Darling.

"We have federal grants that would not be reimbursed while the (government is) shut down," Darling said.  

The grants that would be impacted are Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and all of the district's title funds, she said. 

"It is hard to say how long the shutdown would need to be before it impacts us," Darling said. "The reason for that is because the State is the pass-through for the federal funds. 

Which means the district spends the funds on approved plans, the district submits those plans to the Oregon Department of Education for payment, and ODE bills the federal government for reimbursement, Darling said. 

City services

There are no city government services, including police, that are currently being affected by the federal government shutdown, said Lebanon City Manager Dana Hlavac.

The city has a few federally funded grants; however, the shutdown would have to last at least three months before any city services were affected, Hlavac said.

Defazio’s response

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Springfield) said the government shutdown was created by a small portion of Republicans trying to repeal or substantially delay the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

“It’s an irresponsible tactic in an attempt to achieve an unachievable goal,” DeFazio said. “More mainstream Republicans realize that’s not going to happen.”

What normally happens is Congress will pass a continuing resolution as a way to keep the government running, he said. A continuing resolution is a temporary agreement to keep the government funded while issues are worked out.

DeFazio believes the government shutdown will end before the closure forces the U.S. to default on its debt, he said.

“(House) Speaker (John) Boehner (R-Ohio) realized we can’t default on our debt,” DeFazio said.

Defaulting on the debt would create long-term consequences including a very high borrowing cost, DeFazio said.

DeFazio expects Congress will pass a couple of changes to the ACA along with a continuing resolution so the government shutdown will end, he said.

“I’m all for revising the Affordable Care Act – it could be dramatically improved – but not under threat of holding the government hostage,” DeFazio said.

There are impacts for the shutdown affecting Oregon services in the district DeFazio’s represents, which is Oregon’s fourth district, he said. The fourth district includes Linn County.

Any new annuity claims to Social Security can currently be filed, but they won’t get processed until the government is funded, he said. The same is true for disability claims.

The veterans administration in Portland will stop running if the shutdown continues, which is currently running off of last years’ funding, he said.

“The VA in Portland will grind to a halt if this continues,” DeFazio said.

The University of Oregon and Oregon State University have a lot of federally funded research programs that have been suspended, he said.

“There’s a pretty long list of things that have happened, and will begin to become more apparent,” DeFazio said. “I hope we get this behind us soon, and deal with major issues.”

Linn County parks remain open

During the federal shutdown, Clear Lake Resort and Lost Prairie Campground, facilities located in the Willamette National Forest operated by Linn County Parks, will be open for business as usual, according to a press release from Linn County Parks & Recreation.

Contact reporter Matt Debow on Twitter @Matt DeBow or via email at Matt.DeBow@lee.net.

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