FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nicole Aber, 646-627-7741
Hunger Advocate Calls for Food Boost to Fight Hunger and Save Food Stores
Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America, a nationwide direct service and advocacy nonprofit group, just issued the following statement:
“I just learned that the White House has now reneged on a deal with Democratic Congressional leaders to support and increase overall SNAP purchasing power as part of the third COVID-19 response bill. Such a boost is vital to prevent the existing hunger crisis from worsening greatly and to keep grocery stores, farmers markets, and corner food stores from closing.
The media should not claim the breakdown of the Senate bill is due to ‘partisanship on both sides.’ Democratic leaders are rightfully fighting for the bill to help the masses of struggling families rather than providing still more corporate welfare.
In 2018, when the economy was still strong, 37 million Americans — including 11 million children — lived in food insecure households, unable to afford an adequate supply of food. In the last few days, tens of millions of low-income students have lost access to school lunches, breakfasts, and after-school snacks and suppers due to school closures. The heroic efforts of schools to deliver alternative meals are only serving a small portion of kids who regularly eat school meals. Large numbers of older Americans have lost meals due to senior center shutdowns. In addition, millions of Americans who previously worked for modest wages and/or depended on tips to survive have suddenly lost jobs and/or have suffered from dramatic reductions in incomes.
All of this has greatly worsened the country’s pre-existing hunger crisis. This is the first time in modern U.S. history that we have seen a nationwide natural disaster combined with an economic collapse, so we can’t even begin to imagine the long-term devastation for the nation, particularly for the vast number of people struggling to afford food before the crisis.
Congress and the President must enact a massive increase in food aid — now. Democratic leaders should stay strong in stopping any bill that fails to do so.”