Federal shutdown affects SNAP-Ed programming
Oct. 18, 2013, update:
On the morning of Oct. 18, MU Extension’s state partner made telephone contact with extension concerning the status of federal funding for extension’s Food and Nutrition Education Program. Based on the information received, MU Extension has concluded that it will not be necessary to begin a layoff process for SNAP-Ed funded staff on Oct. 21.
Once written confirmation is received from its state partner, MU Extension will begin the process of resuming its Food and Nutrition Education Program. It is anticipated that written confirmation will be received by end of business on Oct. 18.
Message from Michael Ouart, vice provost and director of extension
Oct. 3, 2013
As I am sure you are aware, on Oct. 1 the federal government shut down. How long the shutdown will last is anyone’s guess. However, repercussions of the shutdown are already being felt across the country. Locally, MU Extension is beginning to feel the effects.
Yesterday, in response to the shutdown, we were advised by the Missouri Department of Social Services to suspend all Family Nutrition Programs that are funded through federal SNAP-Ed grants. Understandably, the DSS is concerned that the uncertainty surrounding the shutdown makes it impossible for the DSS to guarantee that they will receive funding that was to be provided to MU Extension for family nutrition programs.
Given that it is unknown if any funding disruption might be temporary or permanent, it is difficult to make a clear decision about suspending family nutrition programs.
This funding directly affects more than 100 of our FNP employees. When evaluating the significant financial repercussions that would follow a suspension of the program, subsequent layoffs, and the challenge of restarting the program if the funding loss is temporary, we are being cautiously optimistic. As a result, we have decided to fund FNP employee salaries through the close of business on Oct. 21. If there is not a resolution to funding by that day, regrettably we will be forced to begin layoffs of FNP staff.
During the period between now and Oct. 21, we will not conduct FNP programming. There will be no expenditures for travel, supplies or publications for these programs. FNP staff will use this time to communicate cancellations to schools and constituents and prepare for the resumption of normal operations.
Should you be contacted by media regarding this situation, please forward all inquiries to Jo Britt-Rankin at 573-882-7828.
It is also important to realize that there is the potential of similar impacts on our Business Development Program, which also has significant federal funding. At this time, we do not have any information to indicate a need for similar action. Please be assured we are closely monitoring the situation.
We sincerely hope that these challenges are short-lived. They place an incredible burden on the families of MU Extension staff and the communities they serve.
To all employees directly affected by this situation, I express my great appreciation for your efforts during this difficult time. To those employees who are not directly affected, I ask that you be supportive of your coworkers who must work through this difficult time.
MU Extension has a rich history of helping Missourians work through difficult challenges. Today we must draw upon that spirit to weather a challenge of our own. I am confident that we can pull together.
MU Extension Family Nutrition Program Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2012 (PDF)
To see more reports of FNP programming, go to extension.missouri.edu/fnep/reports.
Layoff benefits information is available on the staff Separation page.