Topic: COVID-19

More than 700,000 Pennsylvania SNAP Participants Could Benefit From New Court Order

Legal/Food Stamp Director

More than 700,000 Pennsylvanians who were left out of extra SNAP “emergency  allotments” when USDA denied Pennsylvania’s request for authority to issue them to all SNAP households may be able to get them pursuant to a federal court order issued on September 11. The case Gilliam v. USDA was brought in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Congress Must Renew and Expand Pandemic EBT to Feed Hungry Kids

Millions of families have lost jobs and wages due to the economic crisis created by COVID-19. In response, Congress has taken a number of steps to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on hunger, unemployment, and housing. These efforts — some of which already have expired or will expire on September 30 — remain critical for struggling families across the country. One such effort is the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program, created by Congress through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. It provides an EBT card with the value of free school breakfast and lunch for the days that families lost access to free and reduced-price school meals due to school closures. Without Congressional action, P-EBT will end on September 30.

Status Update: P-EBT Approved in 50 States, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands

Emerson Hunger Fellow

At the beginning of March, I joined FRAC’s child nutrition team as a Bill Emerson Hunger Fellow. Two weeks later, schools across the country were closing, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and my team started working to ensure students and their families had access to meals during this unprecedented time. Schools and community partners started offering meals through a variety of models, but families needed more. In its second response package, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Congress authorized the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program.

Centering Racial Equity in the SNAP Response to COVID-19

Emerson Hunger Fellow

While we await the next coronavirus relief stimulus package, it’s important to consider whether measures taken so far have reached the most vulnerable populations. The COVID-19 pandemic is one that affects all groups, but one that has impacted groups differently. With unemployment rates skyrocketing, infection rates spiking, and racism being declared a public health crisis in over 20 cities, Black communities and other marginalized racial and ethnic communities are being hit the hardest.