Statement Attributed to Kate Leone, Chief Government Relations Officer
“As the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States, Feeding America knows the families we serve are especially vulnerable to additional economic challenges during times of crises. We commend the U.S. House of Representatives for quickly passing Families First Coronavirus Response Act that bolsters federal nutrition programs during the challenging COVID-19 pandemic and urge swift passage in the Senate. More than 37 million people in America are already struggling with hunger. For them and millions of others, this pandemic means the very real danger of lost wages, further difficulty accessing enough food, and an increased reliance on food banks to meet their nutritional needs.
“This bill includes strong supports in food, funds, and flexibility that will help individuals access the food they need. It will help the Feeding America network of 200 food banks and 60,000 partner food pantries and meal sites be able to do the critical work we need to ensure that people in America do not go hungry during this pandemic. The bill specifically includes $400 million in funding for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) – a program that will be vital to ensuring our network has enough food to provide to people in need.
“In addition, this bill also provides critical flexibilities to federal nutrition programs – such as school meals and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – which are absolutely necessary for individuals to maintain access to necessary nutrition. These flexibilities are particularly critical as more school closures are announced and work is further disrupted.
“Feeding America member food banks are working during this incredibly challenging time to ensure that the people who are most vulnerable in our communities are able to get the food they need. The emergency provisions related to the federal nutrition programs included in the House-passed legislation are critical to the success of that effort. We strongly urge the Senate to pass and the President to sign the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.”
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About Feeding America
Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 40 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.