From left to right: Children enjoying federally-funded summer meals, and vehicles lining up before a San Antonio food bank.
On May 16th, the newest Covid-19 relief bill – aptly named the “Heroes Act” – championed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, passed in the U.S House of Representatives on a mostly party-line vote.
This bill is a giant life preserver for a nation now drowning in hunger.
It includes a 15% increase in benefits for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program. That hike would increase the average SNAP benefit nationwide by about 20 cents per meal, from the current level of $1.34 per meal to $1.54 per meal. In addition, the bill also:
- Extends the length of time that the Pandemic-EBT Program – which increases the food purchasing power of families with kids in closed schools – stays in effect.
- Increases funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
- Increases funding for school meals departments within school districts.
- Provides more food and funding to food distribution charities.
Child hunger is soaring across America during the current health and economic crises, with 37% of parents nationwide recently cutting the size of meals or skipping meals for their children because they did not have enough money for food, according to a recent poll of more than 1,000 Americans nationwide by Hunger Free America. That means that child hunger has increased five-fold nationwide during the crisis.
Despite this tragedy, as of today, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has yet to so much as schedule a vote on the bill, nor have any members of the Senate Republican Conference publicly pressured him to do so.
Help us pressure the Senate to act immediately! Tens of millions of hungry families nationwide shouldn’t need to wait to get this extra nutritional aid. Moreover, America’s food stores and farmers markets shouldn’t need to wait to get this extra income.
Here's how you can help:
1. Sign the online petition below, and we will then send this petition to your two U.S. Senators.
2. Donate to Hunger Free America so that we can continue our National Hunger Clock campaign through billboards and social media ads as well as our ongoing work connecting hungry Americans with food resources.
3. Share your story on social media about how the delay in food aid is worsening hunger in your own community, using the hashtag #PassHeroesAct. We especially urge all individuals struggling with food insecurity as well as service providers on the front lines at food banks to share their stories on this dedicated Hunger Free America Facebook group about why this legislation is crucial.
Please act now.