Statement Attributed to Vince Hall, Interim Chief Government Relations Officer
“Feeding America, the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States, supports the decision by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to end the Farmers to Families Food Box Program and focus on providing assistance through the nation’s food bank system and nutrition programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The American Rescue Plan included $3.6 billion for nutrition assistance programs and, building on the lessons of the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, USDA is developing more efficient and effective approaches. Feeding America appreciates USDA’s commitment to listening to feedback from the frontline workers helping to feed our communities and moving forward in a direction that helps people most in need.
“In 2020, our 200 food banks and 60,000 partner pantries and meals sites worked to help provide food to millions of people, reaching every county in the United States. The unprecedented pandemic and economic downturn have resulted in an average 55 percent increase in people needing assistance from our food banks, with many families seeking help for the first time. Of the 6.1 billion meals that we helped provide to communities in 2020, 779 million meals were through the Farmers to Families Food Box program.
“We know that even with the significant increase in meals across the country, for every meal that the entire Feeding America network provides, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides nine. We will continue to work with USDA and congressional leaders to strengthen federal nutrition programs. We are calling for a continuation of a 15 percent increase in SNAP for the duration of the economic downturn and additional investments in food resources for our nation’s food banks. We look forward to working with USDA to develop additional community solutions that will help ensure that families facing hunger are able to put food on their tables.”
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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 5.2 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.