Statement Attributed to Kate Leone, Chief Government Relations Officer
“As the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization with a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 partner food pantries and meal programs, Feeding America strongly supports the 15 percent benefit increase in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) included in the updated HEROES Act. We are also grateful that the bill invests an additional $450 million to help food banks meet the continued increase in need for food assistance through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). In addition, we support the bill’s inclusion of additional critical investments and improvements to SNAP, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and child nutrition programs to help families during this difficult time. We also know how important the bill’s provisions to provide relief for school and child care nutrition programs will be as they struggle with precipitous drops in meal program participation. With Americans facing the highest food prices in 50 years and more than 50 million people in our country having filed for unemployment, strong investments in federal nutrition programs are essential so families do not have to choose between putting food on the table and paying their rent.
“SNAP is vital to the work of our network which covers every congressional district in the country. This past year, our network served more than 5 billion meals, yet for every meal we provide, SNAP provides nine. During this crisis, our network of member food banks are reporting, on average, an increase in demand of about 60 percent. SNAP is an efficient and cost-effective way to help meet that need while also stimulating local economic activity. During the last recession, for every dollar spent on the SNAP program, $1.70 was generated in the economy.
“Every day, food banks are helping families in our communities, but we can’t meet the need alone. More than ever, we need our lawmakers to come together and pass a bill that strengthens federal nutrition programs to significantly curb hunger throughout the country. We are imploring our nation’s leaders to take all necessary steps to keep our food assistance system, including the public and charitable sector, healthy and robust in order to help our neighbors in need. The federal nutrition provisions in this proposed bill are a vital step in that direction.”
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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.