Statement attributed to Kate Leone, Chief Government Relations Officer
“As the country’s largest hunger-relief organization, Feeding America is relieved that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has withdrawn two harmful policies that would have taken meals off the tables of millions of families in the United States. The Categorical Eligibility rule, proposed by the Trump Administration in 2019, would have eliminated Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for more than 3 million people (according to the USDA’s own pre-pandemic estimates) and cut access to free school meals for hundreds of thousands of children. The implementation of the Standard Utility Allowance (SUA) rule, also proposed in 2019 by the administration, would have led to the slashing of $4.5 billion from SNAP over five years, resulting in the loss of 568 million meals per year.
“For every meal, our network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs provide, SNAP provides nine. The program is a lifeline for families without enough to eat and reducing the demand for charitable food assistance. We know that the charitable sector alone could not have filled the gap left by these drastic and cruel cuts to SNAP benefits, especially now, as the nation reaches a hunger tipping point amid a pandemic and an economic downturn.
“The Feeding America network of food banks submitted over 30,000 comments in opposition to the implementation of these rules that would have increased hunger. As the nation recovers and our economy builds, we call on our members of Congress and the incoming administration to protect and strengthen SNAP by maintaining increased benefits for as long as the economic recovery takes and by rescinding additional rules that threaten access to critical SNAP food assistance.”
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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.