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If the government shutdown continues past February, it could keep over 3.5 million Texans from getting food stamps

After February, the U.S. federal government shutdown will impact more than 3.5 million Texans receiving SNAP benefits.

State Senator Borris Miles (D) sent a letter to Texas leadership on Thursday regarding how the federal government's shutdown is impacting Texans who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

As of Jan. 8, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has a plan in place to ensure SNAP recipients will have access to the nutrition they need through the month of February.

But after that, things are less clear.

"While the shutdown is already hurting Texans all across our state, it's about to hit the poorest in our communities," Sen. Miles said. "After February 2019, SNAP beneficiaries will no longer receive the necessary funds to purchase food. This is unacceptable!"

Sen. Miles encouraged Texas leadership to plan ahead in case the shutdown doesn't end soon.

"I am calling on the Texas leadership to make emergency preparations to help Texans on food stamps and other programs impacted by the shutdown. I am prepared to roll up my sleeves and work with my colleagues to ensure we fund these programs adequately so that no Texan should go hungry."

Sen. Miles is also proposing a joint letter to President Donald Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to state that Texas is prepared to help those in need and expects to be reimbursed when the shutdown ends.

"This is not a Democratic or Republican issue, or a rural, urban or suburban issue; it's a poor people issue. We need to do the right thing, help the poorest in our communities and minimize the impact of this shutdown," Sen. Miles said.

According to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, there are currently 3,580,375 people receiving SNAP benefits in Texas as of December 2018.