Statement attributable to Luis Guardia, President, Food Research & Action Center
WASHINGTON, February 9, 2021 — The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) commends House Education and Labor Committee Chair Robert C. “Bobby” Scott for introducing a budget reconciliation bill that will significantly alleviate food hardship for children, toddlers, and families as the health and economic fallout of COVID-19 continues to unfold.
Households with children, particularly Latinx and Black households, have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. This new bill will provide much-needed relief by proposing to allocate more than $300 billion targeted to struggling families and workers, schools, and higher education institutions.
FRAC is pleased that the bill proposes additional support and funding for several federal nutrition programs targeted to assist low-income families as the pandemic continues, including the following:
- Increases in the value of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) fruit and vegetable benefits from $9 for children and $11 for women per month to $35 per month for women and children during a four-month period,
- Investments in WIC program outreach to improve access and participation for low-income women, infants and children,
- Raising the eligibility age of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) so that young adults between 18 to 24 will now be eligible to receive up to three healthy meals at emergency homeless shelters, making youth-serving shelters eligible for CACFP for the first time, and
- Providing Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) benefits to school age and young children for the summer and extends the program through the end of the COVID-19 health crisis.
FRAC urges the Education and Labor Committee to pass this bill quickly. The recovery package must move with urgency through Congress so these critically-needed programs reach struggling families as they weather the health and economic impacts of the pandemic. Hungry children can’t wait.
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.