The fallout of COVID-19 is putting millions of households at greater risk of hunger and poverty. The relief packages to respond to this challenge have, to date, served as a down payment. More must be done in the next relief package to ensure households can keep putting food on the table. FRAC calls on Congress and the Trump administration to increase the maximum Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit by 15 percent, increase the minimum SNAP benefit from $16 to $30, and suspend all SNAP administrative rules that would weaken benefits. (Share this graphic)
In an interview with CNN, FRAC’s Crystal FitzSimons stressed the importance of the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program in making sure out-of-school children get the nutrition they need during the pandemic. “We need to get these benefits to households so that they are not experiencing hunger or food insecurity,” she said. “This needs to get moving.”
The Associated Press reported that buying groceries online is only open to SNAP recipients in six states and that food security advocates recommend the government give states blanket latitude to adjust their programs. FRAC’s Ellen Vollinger told the outlet that that would allow states to expand their beneficiary ranks with minimal paperwork. “One can imagine a set of waivers that are so common that every state would benefit,” she said.
“One of the things we know is that charity can't do it by themselves,” said Luis Guardia, president of FRAC in this Boston Globe editorial. Boosting SNAP benefits is critical to responding to the growing need.
The Time to Boost SNAP is Now
In this blog, FRAC’s SNAP Director Ellen Vollinger highlights the urgent need to boost SNAP benefits in order to stimulate the economy and ensure that families receive adequate nutrition assistance during this crisis.
We’re in This Together
This challenging time can seem daunting, but FRAC President Luis Guardia says the organization isfinding strength and comfort in knowing that we are in this togetherand that it hopes advocates are, too. The anti-hunger community’s work is more critical than ever as the COVID-19 pandemic presents a twin threat to public health and the economy.
Advocate, Advocate, Advocate
FRAC President Luis Guardia draws attention to the importance of advocacy as a critical way to help your neighbors put food on the table during the COVID-19 pandemic. Food pantries and local organizations are working hard to provide immediate relief across the nation, but they cannot do it alone. Through advocacy, we can expand the reach of federal nutrition programs and reach more people who are struggling with food insecurity during this crisis.
Pandemic EBT: An Update on State Plans
In this blog, FRAC’s Director of School and Out-of-School-Time Programs Crystal FitzSimons provides an update on state plans surrounding the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program. P-EBT, authorized through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, offers states a critical opportunity to provide support to families that rely on free or reduced-price school meals when school is open.