What’s at Stake?
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to significantly impact people facing hunger and challenging food banks to meet the higher demand for emergency food assistance. Feeding America food banks have reported a 55 percent average increase in demand for food assistance, and nearly 40 percent of people served at food banks since the beginning of the pandemic are new to the charitable food system.
Feeding America estimates that 42 million people (1 in 8), including 13 million children (1 in 6), may experience food insecurity in 2021. With the sustained demand for food assistance, people facing hunger and food banks across the nation will need additional investments in nutrition programs to put food on the table.
What’s Feeding America Doing?
Feeding America is fighting to:
- Strengthen the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by extending a benefit boost of at least 15 percent for all recipients for the duration of the economic downturn and beyond to provide critical food assistance and to help promote economic stimulus.
- Increase funding for food purchases to support food banks’ capacity to feed our neighbors in need, specifically through an additional $900 million for food purchases through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) until September 30, 2022. Feeding America is also fighting to make sure Congress ensures any additional funding to help support U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) food purchases of commodities impacted by COVID-19 supply chain disruptions are distributed through USDA food distribution programs.
- Extend and expand Summer-EBT, currently operating as Pandemic-EBT (a program that provides extra money for households with children who have lost access to nutritious school and child care meals), to ensure USDA has the authority needed to continue this important program during summers and for future school closings. Also, Feeding America is fighting to extend and strengthen Child Nutrition program waiver authority to ensure the flexibility needed to continue critical food assistance operations that are keeping kids fed.
- Address funding shortfall within the food bank network in cold storage and distribution capacity. Addressing this shortfall will help ensure food banks have the tools — from trucks to refrigerators — to continue meeting the skyrocketing demand for food across the country and have more funding to put more food on more tables.
- Extend the temporary increases in the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit to provide families with children and working adults additional critical economic resources.