Federal Government Shutdown A shutdown of the federal government began on Dec. 22, 2018, and ended Jan. 25, 2019, affecting some of the programs the NC Department of Health and Human Services administers. NCDHHS is working with partners to ensure participants in the following programs have little to no interruption of services. Information on this page is being updated regularly so that beneficiaries have up-to-date information. Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) Food and Nutrition Services, also known as food stamps, is a federal food assistance program that provides more than 1.3 million low-income individuals (more than 630,000 households) in North Carolina the food they need for a nutritionally adequate diet. Benefits are issued via Electronic Benefit Transfer cards (EBT cards). NCDHHS issued February and March benefits early to help ensure families and individuals are able to purchase food and minimize the impacts of the shutdown who rely on FNS and did so again for many recipients in April. The benefits are available for use as normal and should not be considered "extra" money. Households have up to a year to use their benefits. February benefits were loaded on to EBT cards on Jan. 20, and March benefits were placed on EBT cards between March 1 and March 3. For April, those who normally receive their benefits from the first through the 11th of the month received benefits on their normal day. Those scheduled to receive benefits from the 12th of the month through the 21st received them on April 12. Beginning in May, all families and individuals will be back on their regular schedules. If you are scheduled for renewal, submit your recertification paperwork as required. New FNS applications are still being accepted. Individuals or families at risk of running out of food, should contact their county department of social services to find out about other resources available within the community. For questions about your benefits, please call the EBT Call Center at 1-888-622-7328. If an authorized EBT retailer refuses to accept EBT cards, call 1-866-719-0141 and provide the name and address of the store. NCDHHS will provide the information to the USDA for investigation. Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) WIC provides basic nutritious foods to 212,000 eligible low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, as well as infants and children up to 5 years of age. Funding for the program is projected to be available through at least the end of March, and NCDHHS is continuing to work closely with partners to minimize any interruption of services. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Work First is North Carolina’s Temporary Assistance for the Needy Families (TANF) program. This program helps parents support themselves and their families by offering short-term training and other services to increase the chances of employment. TANF supports multiple services to children and families primarily, but not exclusively, through county departments of social services including Work First Cash Assistance, foster care, child protective and welfare services, adoptions, pre-k, teen pregnancy initiatives and subsidized child care. NCDHHS is projecting funding availability for TANF services through the end of June. Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) CACFP is a federally-funded program that helps to ensure eligible children and adults who attend qualifying non-residential care facilities receive nutritious meals and snacks. CACFP provides meal reimbursement to enrolled child and adult care institutions and family or group day care homes. These meals contribute to the wellness, healthy growth and development of young children, and the health and wellness of older adults and chronically-impaired disabled persons. In November 2018, CACFP support provided more than 4.7 million nutritious meals and snacks to children and more than 71,000 nutritious meals and snacks to adults in day care in North Carolina. Funding is projected to be available through February and NCDHHS is working closely with partners to minimize any interruption of services.