Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons and Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester wrote, on Jan. 15, to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue with questions and concerns regarding the effects of the government shutdown on Delawareans who benefit from programs administered by the agency.

Specifically, the senators and congresswoman raise concerns about the USDA’s ability to fund primary nutrition programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Communities Facilities program that supports rural communities in preventing and treating substance abuse and highlight disruptions to vital subsidy programs like tariff relief and USDA-backed home loans that Delawareans rely on to purchase new homes.

“USDA employees work hard to support the farmers and producers who feed our nation and play a vital role in administering programs that improve our rural infrastructure, combat the opioid crisis, advance agricultural research and feed those who are in need,” the lawmakers wrote. “We will continue to urge the president to end this needless shutdown and to ensure that USDA employees can return to their work supporting our constituents. In the interim, we urge you to take every step available under the law to provide relief to those affected by the shutdown and to provide the American public with as much information as soon as possible regarding which USDA programs will be affected going forward.”

A copy of the letter is available at bit.ly/2srOiTD.