Statement attributed to Vince Hall, Interim Chief Government Relations Officer
“Nearly one year after the pandemic upended lives across the country, millions of people who found themselves in a food bank line for the first time continue to face the impossible choice between putting food on the table or paying their bills. The House of Representatives is expected to approve legislation that would provide critical relief to people in desperate need of help. As the largest hunger-relief organization in the country, Feeding America knows that the families we serve will breathe a sigh of relief due to the investments in federal nutrition programs in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
“Specifically, the House bill would extend the time that lawmakers increase the maximum Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by 15 percent; extend and expand Pandemic-EBT through this summer and beyond; and provide direct, financial assistance to people who are most likely to struggle with hunger by expanding the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which could cut child poverty rates by half. These and other key provisions will provide the food relief that so many desperately need.
“Still, there is more that must be done. With one in four children in this country likely experiencing hunger, and an average 55 percent increase in need from communities for our network of 200 food banks due to the pandemic, additional support is essential. This begins with extending the increased SNAP benefits through the end of the economic downturn to ensure the nutritional security of families facing hunger, while also stimulating local economies as SNAP recipients spend their benefits at local businesses. Additional support is also needed through continued investments in the charitable sector, as food banks across the country still face lines that go for miles. The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is the cornerstone of the charitable food system and our network of food banks will face a decline of 30-40 percent of this critical food from our U.S. growers across the country.
“Feeding America looks forward to working with lawmakers in the Senate to ensure their bill provides strong, critical investments in federal nutrition programs, and looks forward to President Biden signing a relief bill that helps the families we serve during this challenging time.”
Learn more about Feeding America’s COVID-19 priorities.
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About Feeding America
Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of more than 200 food banks, 21 statewide food bank associations, and over 60,000 partner agencies, food pantries and meal programs, we helped provide 5.3 billion meals to tens of millions of people in need last year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; brings attention to the social and systemic barriers that contribute to food insecurity in our nation; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.