WASHINGTON, June 18, 2020 — Nearly 2,500 organizations from across the country signed on to a letter urging the Senate to boost SNAP benefits in the next coronavirus relief package. The letter asks for a 15 percent boost in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) maximum benefit, an increase in the SNAP minimum monthly benefit from $16 to $30, and a suspension of SNAP time limits and rules changes that would cut SNAP eligibility and benefits.
“COVID-19 is taking a toll on Americans, threatening food security, health, and economic well-being in both the short term and long term,” said Luis Guardia, president of the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC). “Government needs to act now to limit the depth and duration of the hardship. The Senate should act immediately to boost SNAP benefits, both to address food hardship and to get our economy moving. During an economic downturn, each $1 in SNAP benefits generates between $1.50 and $1.80 in economic activity.”
“There is no more efficient way to make sure families have the nutrition they need than to invest in SNAP; for every meal that the Feeding America network of 200 food banks provides, SNAP provides nine,” said Kate Leone, chief government relations officer at Feeding America. “As our network continues to serve on the front lines, it’s clear that we need our charitable sector and our federal nutrition programs to work hand in hand to match the need in our communities. Our lawmakers must take urgent action to invest in SNAP to stop the health and economic crisis from continuing to be a hunger crisis.”
“Boosting SNAP, which currently only provides recipients with around $1.40 per meal, should be a no-brainer, particularly as more and more people fall behind due to the devastating economic impacts of this pandemic. And it’s clear that we need Congress to protect SNAP,” said Alexandra Cawthorne Gaines, vice president of the Poverty to Prosperity Program at Center for American Progress. “Just last month, as the U.S. reached Depression-era unemployment rates, the Trump administration doubled down on its intention to finalize a rule to take SNAP support from people unable to meet draconian work reporting requirements. The Senate must step up and do the work the people need without delay.”
Signing the letter were groups in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The diverse representation of the signatures underscores the breadth of support for increasing and expanding SNAP now.
In the letter, advocates also call for the Senate to invest in the child nutrition programs, The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), Native American tribes and territories, and Older Americans Act (OAA) senior nutrition programs.
“A comprehensive package will go a long way to both stabilize the economy and provide direct assistance to individuals and families,” said Guardia. “Now more than ever, the Senate must act. Hungry people can’t wait.”
About Food Research & Action Center
The Food Research & Action Center is the leading national nonprofit organization working to eradicate poverty-related hunger and undernutrition in the United States. To learn more, visit FRAC.org and follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.
About Feeding America
Feeding America is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 40 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
About the Center for American Progress
The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. We believe that Americans are bound together by a common commitment to these values and we aspire to ensure that our national policies reflect these values. We work to find progressive and pragmatic solutions to significant domestic and international problems and develop policy proposals that foster a government that is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Visit www.americanprogress.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.