Washington, D.C. – Bread for the World today applauded the goals President Biden set out during his State of the Union Address and called on lawmakers to implement the proposals presented in his American Families Plan. Bread has advocated for many of the proposals outlined in the president’s plan.
“Last night, President Biden presented the American people with a groundbreaking plan to invest in our children and families,” said Rev. Eugene Cho, president and CEO of Bread for the World. “In a country with so much abundance, no child should be denied the opportunity to thrive. The president’s focus on nutrition assistance is particularly important as our nation continues to suffer its worst hunger crisis in modern history.”
The American Families Plan calls for an expansion of vital children’s nutrition assistance programs. Children who are hungry – even for short periods of time – are susceptible to physical and intellectual delays that could set them back permanently. The plan would expand the free and reduced-price healthy school meals program and the summer EBT nutrition assistance program. Notably, the administration recently announced it would extend universal free school lunches through the 2021-2022 school year and expand pandemic EBT summer nutrition assistance.
The plan also calls for universal preschool, assistance to help families pay for child care, twelve weeks of paid family and medical leave, and would make permanent temporary tax credits that help families pay for health care under the Affordable Care Act. The plan would also make permanent the expanded Earned Income Tax Credit and the full refundability of the Child Tax Credit (CTC), while extending other expanded provisions of the CTC through 2025. While we welcome the commitment to extend the CTC provisions through 2025, permanently extending them would cut child poverty nearly in half and do more to reduce hunger among our nation’s children than any single policy has in decades.
“We are called on by God to love and care for our neighbors. We cannot merely offer our prayers to those struggling with hunger without taking appropriate actions to meet their physical needs (James 2:15-17). The proposals President Biden has offered would provide countless families an opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty and give millions of children a foundation to succeed,” said Cho. “We hope that Congress will act swiftly to pass these proposals.”