April 13, 2020
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. Even before the crisis, 37 million people across the country lived in food-insecure households, and an untold number more are expected to struggle to put food on the table as the pandemic continues to unfold.
The situation can seem daunting, but we are finding strength and comfort in knowing that we are in this together. And we hope you are, too.
FRAC has provided early and ongoing leadership for policymakers, anti-hunger advocates, and other stakeholders on leveraging federal nutrition program resources to assist low-income households. For example, we have been working with Congress since the breadth of the pandemic’s negative impacts became apparent to provide policy recommendations for a swift and comprehensive response.
Many of our recommended priorities were included in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, H.R. 6201, including creating a Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program to help families with children purchase food since they have lost access to free or reduced-price school meals as a result of school closures; expanding the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s child nutrition waiver authority to allow more communities to provide meals through the child nutrition programs; and taking steps to ensure that programs like SNAP, school meals, and WIC are able to respond as needed and to reach households during this crisis.
We know, however, that these actions are just a down payment on what is needed. That is why we have been aggressively advocating that Congress boost SNAP in the next emergency relief package. If you haven’t already, please reach out to your Members of Congress and ask them to prioritize SNAP to assist families in need.
We aim to empower you with valuable information and tools, and encourage you to
- Visit our one-stop resource page for legislative updates and tools you can use;
- Sign up for our Weekly News Digest;
- Take Action: urge Congress to increase SNAP benefits in the next relief package;
- Register for our April COVID-19 webinars; and
- Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
We also want to hear from you. Whether you have an uplifting story of a household that is benefitting from the federal nutrition programs, or you want to share your efforts in response to the pandemic, please send your story to FRAC-Communications@frac.org. Your stories speak as loud, and often louder, than the most well-researched policy brief.
Thank you for all of the work that you continue to do in spite of these tough times. Without your steadfast resolve, patience, and resilience, our work would be much harder, and rates of food insecurity and poverty would be much higher.
FRAC will continue — during and after this pandemic — to inform and support you in our joint fight to end poverty-related hunger and undernutrition in the U.S.
We’re in this together.