WASHINGTON, July 20, 2020 — #BoostSNAPNow trended on Twitter today as numerous organizations and individuals from across the country welcomed back their Senators from recess with posted videos and photos urging them to act quickly to pass a COVID-19 recovery package that boosts SNAP benefits. The ‘Rolling Rally’ campaign led by the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), in coordination with the Children’s Defense Fund, Coalition on Human Needs, and First Focus Campaign for Children, also mobilized individuals and organizations to “ring and rally” their Senators in conjunction with the digital push.
“The Senators’ ears should be ringing,” said Luis Guardia, president of FRAC. “People from across the country sounded the alarm for the Senate to boost SNAP in the next COVID-19 recovery package to limit the depth and duration of food hardship and economic dislocation.”
FRAC and other advocates are calling on Congress and the White House to 1) boost the SNAP maximum by 15 percent; 2) increase the SNAP minimum monthly benefit from $16 to $30; and 3) suspend all SNAP rules changes that would terminate or weaken SNAP benefits. Such measures should continue until there is sufficient economic recovery.
Prior to the pandemic, an alarming 37 million people across the country lived in food-insecure households. “For too long, struggling households have been left behind by structural deficits such as low wages and lack of job opportunities and racial inequity. These factors and others all put low-income people at greater risk of food insecurity,” added Guardia. “The pandemic has only made matters worse.”
Boosting maximum and minimum SNAP benefits during the current downturn would help millions of Americans struggling with high food prices and diminished wages, and would jump-start the nation’s economic recovery. Each $1 in SNAP benefits spent in a downturn economy generates between $1.50 and $1.80 in economic activity.
“FRAC urges lawmakers to start work now on enacting additional emergency relief that leverages SNAP’s effectiveness in stimulating the economy and promoting food security and health. Hungry people can’t wait,” said Guardia.
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.