Statement Attributed to Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America
“Feeding America congratulates President Joe Biden on his transition to occupying the highest office in the nation. President Biden and his administration will inherit a number of challenges as the nation rehabilitates from the harms of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn, including a hunger crisis that is reaching a tipping point. Our network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries is prepared to work with the new administration to ensure our neighbors have enough to eat and our economy recovers.
“Additionally, we congratulate Madam Vice President Kamala Harris, who will be the first woman, Black American, Asian American, and child of immigrants to hold the vice presidency. As the country continues to grapple with the aftermath of recent racial unrest, Madam Vice President Harris’ historic milestone bears special significance and promise.
“We were honored to welcome the President to one of our member food banks earlier this week as a volunteer. Similarly, the Vice President volunteered at one of the pantries served by our food bank network. We are eager to continue working with them – not only to get through this current crisis but to end hunger in the United States.
“The nation faces a long road toward recovery, but we are heartened by the knowledge that our federal lawmakers have tools at their disposal to turn the tide on hunger and restore a fraying economy. Our nation’s best anti-hunger tool is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — a program that provides nine meals for every meal our network provides. We encourage the Biden Administration to increase SNAP benefits for as long as the nation’s public health and economic emergencies continue and to rescind harmful administrative rules that will limit access to SNAP benefits. We also urge the incoming administration to invest in our kids and the charitable sector: children need more access to Child Nutrition programs to meet their nutritional needs, and food banks need more food purchases through the federal food distribution programs and funding for programs that ensure they have enough food to keep plates full.
“Over the holidays, our lawmakers passed a stimulus package that provides families with long-awaited food assistance — but the package is only a down payment on the larger scale of support communities need to weather increasing uncertainty about where they will get their next meal. At the beginning of a new year, with a new administration and Congress, we have new opportunities to roll up our sleeves and help families facing hunger. The Biden Administration has expressed a commitment to fighting hunger, and we are ready to help make good on that promise.”
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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.