Jul 28 2020 |
Author: Lauren |
Yesterday, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released the Senate proposal for the next COVID-19 response package. The California Association of Food Banks is deeply disappointed that the Senate proposal does not deliver critical investments in SNAP called for by nearly 2,500 anti-hunger organizations across the country. Hunger has risen to astonishing levels, with one in four households experiencing food insecurity – that is approximately 10 million people in California alone. This includes deep racial disparities, with food insecurity above one in three among African-American and Latinx households with children.
CA Food Banks calls on Congress to prioritize boosting SNAP benefits for the duration of the current crisis, by:
- Increasing benefits for all households by 15%;
- Raising the minimum benefit to $30 a month; and
- Pausing all administrative rules that would cut SNAP benefits or limit eligibility.
“What started as a health crisis has become an economic and hunger crisis affecting every California community. Food banks have been on the frontlines since day one serving the unprecedented need for emergency food,” said Andrew Cheyne, Director of Government Affairs for the California Association of Food Banks. “We can’t do it alone – SNAP is proven to be our best line of defense against hunger, and delivers vital economic stimulus as benefits are spent almost immediately in local communities. No one in our country should go hungry – but that is the reality for millions of our neighbors right now. The Senate needs to wake up to this and provide a response that matches the scale and depth of this crisis.”
In addition to SNAP, CA Food Banks continues to call on Congress to include other vital provisions in the next package, including investing in TEFAP and food bank infrastructure, extending Pandemic EBT, Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit, providing stimulus payments inclusive of ITIN filers, and providing fiscal relief to state and local governments. The Senate proposal is in stark contrast to H.R. 6800, the HEROES Act that passed the House in May, and includes many of these critical investments. CA Food Banks appreciates the ongoing leadership of Senators Feinstein and Harris to call for investments in SNAP and other vital safety net programs needed now more than ever.