Statement attributable to Luis Guardia, President, Food Research & Action Center
WASHINGTON, February 27, 2021 — The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) commends the House for passing President Biden’s COVID-19 relief package. The bill will provide desperately needed relief to help the millions of families experiencing economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bill strengthens the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which has been proven to lift millions of families out of poverty while stimulating the economy during a downturn. The reconciliation bill includes many of the anti-hunger community’s key priorities, including extending the 15 percent boost to SNAP benefits through September 30, 2021; providing extra administrative funds to keep SNAP benefits flowing to households in need; and supplying additional funding for SNAP online purchasing.
The bill also provides additional support and funding for federal nutrition programs targeted to assist low-income families, among other relief provisions, including
- increasing the value of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC);
- allowing young adults up to 24 years old to be eligible to receive healthy Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) meals at homeless and youth-serving shelters;
- providing Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) benefits to school-age and young children for the summer, and extending the program through the end of the COVID-19 health crisis;
- increasing program funding for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP);
- increasing funding for nutrition assistance to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa; and
- providing additional funding to support nutrition programs for older adults and Native American communities under the Older Americans Act.
FRAC urges the Senate to pass this bill and provide desperately needed relief to the tens of millions of people who are struggling with hunger as the health and economic fallout of COVID-19 continues to unfold.
This relief package is another step in the right direction for the Biden administration but falls short of the longer-term comprehensive relief that will address the multiple needs that individuals and families will face in the year ahead.
While we were disappointed that a $15 federal minimum wage cannot be included in the relief package, we encourage members of Congress to continue the fight for a more adequate minimum wage in order for low-income workers and their families to be lifted out of poverty and hunger.
FRAC is committed to working with Congress and the administration on a more robust recovery package that provides the full range of economic relief necessary to alleviate the hardship faced by millions.
For 50 years, the Food Research & Action Center has been 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.