Attributed to Kate Leone, Chief Government Relations Officer
"The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that just passed the House will be critical to shielding our communities from some of the harshest impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it will not be enough to stem the tide of increased nutrition assistance. Feeding America, the largest hunger-relief organization in the country, is pleased that the bill included new resources that will connect the food produced by American farmers with people in need, but we are disappointed that Congress missed the opportunity to cut red tape that is hindering our ability to distribute it more safely and efficiently. We are also deeply concerned about the failure to include an increase in benefits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). We are seeing an unprecedented increase in need as people seek food assistance for the first time. SNAP is an efficient way to provide relief to families and provide stability for the economy. We hope the President will quickly sign the CARES Act into law and look forward to working with Congress and the administration on further measures to address hunger in the coming weeks.
“By not increasing SNAP benefits, lawmakers missed an opportunity to help families facing hunger and, unfortunately, food banks will bear the burden of this oversight. SNAP is this nation’s first line of defense against hunger, and for every meal that the Feeding America network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meals sites provide, SNAP provides nine. SNAP is also rated as one of the most effective supports for the economy during economic downturns by the Congressional Budget Office and Moody’s Analytics.
“It will take all of us — from charities to our lawmakers — to help keep food on tables for families across our nation. We urge Congress and the administration to make additional investments in our families struggling with hunger by increasing SNAP benefits and removing red tape in future legislation as they consider additional ways to help our country move past this crisis.”
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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.