October 26, 2020

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FRAC’S COVID-19 Updates

Check out FRACs COVID-19 page for updates, statements, and resources on actions to address the food security, public health, and economic impacts of COVID-19.

Afterschool Nutrition Programs

Study: Participation in Afterschool Nutrition Programs was Rising before Pandemic, FERN, October 20, 2020
“With children losing access to meals that support their health and well-being due to closures and millions of families having to choose between paying bills and putting food on the table, afterschool suppers offer an important opportunity to provide children with the nutrition they need to offset this hunger and economic crisis,” Food Research & Action Center President Luis Guardia said in a press release.

Fewer Low-Income Students in NJ Getting Afterschool Meals, Report Finds, WKXW-FM, October 20, 2020
“What is even more disturbing is the 21 percent decline in child participation took place before the pandemic, so it’s really our concern that it’s highly likely that we’re reaching fewer children,” said Adele LaTourette, the director of Hunger Free New Jersey, describing the Food Research &
Action Center report.

COVID-19: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Hundreds of Thousands More Marylanders Turned to SNAP Benefits to Eat During Pandemic, Maryland Matters, October 23, 2020
new report from Maryland Hunger Solutions shows a 400 percent increase in SNAP applicants among Marylanders in April following the slew of pandemic-related business and school closures in March. Baltimore City alone witnessed a 600 percent jump. “To a large extent, SNAP applications track both the overall poverty in the state, as well as the ups and downs in the economy,” said Michael J. Wilson, the director of Maryland Hunger Solutions.

AG Racine’s Lawsuit Stops Trump Administration’s Cruel Cuts to SNAP Food Assistance for 700,000+ Unemployed Americans, Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, October 19, 2020
District of Columbia Attorney General Karl A. Racine today announced that the U.S. District Court for D.C. has permanently blocked an effort by the Trump administration to revoke vital SNAP eligibility for over 700,000 unemployed Americans. Attorneys General Racine and Letitia James (of New York) co-led this coalition joined by Attorneys General from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia, along with the City of New York. Several high-profile organizations filed briefs and declarations supporting the coalition’s arguments, including the U.S. House of Representatives, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Food Research & Action Center, and a broad coalition of legal aid and anti-poverty groups.

Trump fights in court to block pandemic food aid for lowest-income Americans, Politico, October 26, 2020
Residents of Pennsylvania and California have sued President Donald Trump’s Agriculture Department over a policy that has kept roughly 40 percent of households who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program from receiving any emergency benefits during the pandemic. After being ordered by a federal judge last week to proceed with the payments in the Pennsylvania case, the department is continuing to appeal. “It’s almost like they’re singing that old song ‘Wishin’ and Hopin’,’ because they’re not dealing with reality,” said Ellen Vollinger, legal director at the Food Research & Action Center.

SNAP nutrition assistance expanded for state’s college students, Amsterdam News, October 22, 2020
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced new measures expanding eligibility for SNAP to up to 75,000 community college students across the state who are enrolled in vocational classes. The new measures taken by New York state will allow college students who are enrolled at least half time in a “career or technical education program” to access SNAP without the previous provisions, which required students to work 20 hours per week or to be caring for a child in order to qualify for SNAP.

Instacart and Aldi partnering to accept food stamps for grocery deliveries, The Verge, October 23, 2020
Grocery delivery platform Instacart is launching a pilot program to begin taking SNAP benefits as a payment in its app. The program will only be available at Aldi stores and only in a few states, starting with Georgia, then expanding to California, Florida, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.

COVID-19: Disparate Impact

Coronavirus Stimulus Latest: Bill May Not Pass Until After the Election, Pelosi Says, WGN America’s NewsNation, October 21, 2020
Nearly 30 million people in America reported they did not have enough to eat during the first few months of the pandemic. FRAC President Luis Guardia stated, “We’re trying to understand why this kind of pain has not elicited the action that we need from Congress.”

COVID Pandemic Exposes Food Insecurity, AgFax, October 20, 2020
“These 30 million people are actually changing their meal, their eating patterns, they don’t have enough to eat, they’re skipping a meal,” said FRAC President Luis Guardia.

COVID-19: School Meals

New Haven students participating in remote learning to start receiving school meals by school bus, WTNH, October 23, 2020
New Haven students participating in remote learning will start receiving their school meals by school bus. Mayor Justin Elicker said, “New Haven Public Schools has buses that are going out to deliver food to areas where there’s a concentration of young people and that’s a great thing because it’s a resource for the community but it also increases the number of meals we’re providing. So we’re going to get more state funding to help support their salaries in this tough time.

All Columbia students to receive free school meals, Columbia Daily Tribune, October 20, 2020
All students in the Columbia school district in Missouri will receive free breakfasts and lunches at school this year, regardless of economic status. “This means you do not need to add money to your student’s lunch account. Families are still encouraged to complete the free and reduced-price lunch applications if they are in need of assistance,” according to an email from the district.


Afterschool Suppers and Afterschool Programs Critical Part of COVID-19 Recovery, October 20, 2020
FRAC’s report, Afterschool Suppers: A Snapshot of Participationreleased last week, finds that over 1.4 million children received a supper through the Afterschool Nutrition Programs in October 2019, an increase of 6.5 percent, or 86,900 children, from October 2018. Almost 48,000 afterschool programs across the country provided a supper, a snack, or both through the Afterschool Nutrition Programs in October 2019, an important indicator of access to afterschool nutrition.

It’s the Homestretch: Ideas for 2020 Nonpartisan Election Activities, October 21, 2020
Elections matter. It’s not too late for your nonprofit to engage in permissible election-related activities to ensure that candidates understand the issues and voters have the resources to understand how to vote and where candidates stand on the issues.

Eleven Days Until Election Day — Four Ways to Get Out the Vote, October 23, 2020
In the final stretch before Election Day, there are key ways 501(c)(3) anti-hunger organizations and other trusted community organizations can support these nonpartisan efforts and ensure people in their community exercise their right to vote. Engaging in nonpartisan Get Out the Vote activities is a prime way to support democracy in permissible and meaningful ways.

About Us

FRAC is the leading national nonprofit organization working to eradicate poverty-related hunger and undernutrition in the United States. Visit our website to learn more.

Contact Us

Food Research & Action Center
1200 18th Street, NW Suite 400
Washington, District of Columbia 20036
(202) 986-2200