In early March, Congress passed, and the president signed, a package of six bipartisan appropriations bills, including the fiscal year 2024 (FY24) agriculture appropriations bill. This averted a partial government shutdown of the departments and agencies funded by these six bills, including USDA, which are now funded through the remainder of federal FY24.

The following federal departments and agencies have been funded through the remainder of federal FY24 and are not at risk of shutting down later this month:

· Department of Agriculture (USDA)
· Department of Commerce
· Department of Energy
· Department of Housing and Urban Development
· Department of the Interior
· Department of Justice
· Department of Transportation
· Department of Veterans Affairs
· Environmental Protection Agency
· Food and Drug Administration

A partial government shutdown has begun. The major departments and agencies that are shut down as of March 23rd:

· Department of Defense
· Department of Education
· Department of Health and Human Services
· Department of Homeland Security
· Department of Labor
· Department of State
· Department of Treasury

Food banks like the St. Louis Area Foodbank, will be the first, and potentially only, option for assistance for thousands of people whose paychecks or federal benefits will be disrupted if a solution is not reached quickly.

What happens next?

Pay for employees of federal contractors could be impacted immediately. But pay for Active-duty military personnel and federal civilian employees is staggered.

April 1
Active-duty military personnel receive a partial paycheck.

April 3
Federal civilian employees who work for the affected departments (including those listed above) receive a mostly full paycheck, minus one day of pay for March 23.

April 15
Active-duty military personnel miss their first full paycheck.

April 17
Federal civilian employees who work for the affected departments miss their first full paycheck.

the impacts of a government shutdown

Some people may not think that a shutdown is significant, knowing that paychecks for government employees would be reimbursed once the government “reopens”. However, according to a recent report, released by the Federal Reserve Board, nearly 4 in 10 people say they don’t have enough cash to cover a $400 emergency expense, and missing one paycheck could mean that they cannot cover the cost of food and household expenses without going into debt. During the 2018 shutdown that lasted 35 days, the St Louis Area Foodbank and our partner network, experienced an increase in the demand for emergency food assistance; with many TSA workers, military members, and Federal contractors seeking help for the first time.

Whether it is hours, days or weeks, when paychecks are not received, families turn to food banks, and their network of partner agencies, for assistance to put food on their tables.

The reality of our current situation is that food banks are already facing a food supply crisis. Many are struggling to meet sustained and heightened need in communities across the country, while feeling the compounded effects of continued supply chain disruptions, increased food purchase and transportation costs, and a significant decrease in USDA foods. For context, last year the St. Louis Area Foodbank saw a reduction in food received from the Government of nearly 8 MILLION pounds versus what we had planned. This put a tremendous strain on our ability to serve and support our neighbors and required us to raise funds to purchase 3xs the food that we originally budgeted for the year. This model is simply not sustainable, and food banks around the country are feeling similar, or worse impacts – so we are concerned about our ability to step up and meet the needs of families impacted by this shutdown.

Food banks will continue to do all they can to serve their communities, but our food and funds can only go so far. A surge in demand for charitable food assistance brought on by a shutdown would be more than many already strained food banks could manage. 

This shut down will have far-reaching impacts on everyday Americans as services and support are disrupted due to a shortage of workers, such as air travel managed by the FAA and airport security managed by TSA.

Government workers are affected when they are either furloughed without pay or forced to work without pay because they are exempt from furlough until the shutdown is over.

Help those who are impacted by the shutdown

We are committed to doing all we can to help support families during this challenging time. 

If you can help the Foodbank with a financial donation to help support families in our region please visit:


Email your Members of Congress right now, and tell them why fighting hunger is a priority they should care about using Feeding America’s easy-to-use template.