December 22, 2020

Bread Says COVID Relief Package Gives Hope for the Holidays

Washington, D.C. – Bread for the World today celebrated passage of the COVID relief package that was attached to the fiscal year 2021 omnibus appropriations bill, giving millions of American families hope this holiday season.  

“Today Bread for the World is thankful Congress has passed a COVID relief bill that helps families struggling with hunger,” said Rev. Eugene Cho, president and CEO of Bread for the World. “Hunger is rising dramatically in the United States as the number of COVID infections and deaths hit record numbers daily. The relief package will help keep millions of children and families from going hungry.”  

As many as 50 million people, or 1 in 6 people in the U.S., are at risk of experiencing hunger this winter. Eleven million children currently live in a household where the children themselves are not getting enough to eat. Food insecurity, both prior to and during the pandemic, disproportionally impacts people of color. According to recent Census Bureau data, 40 percent of Black and Latino families with children are struggling to put food on the table.

The relief package increases the U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) maximum monthly benefit by 15 percent for six months to help struggling families purchase food. The bill also provides $400 million for food banks through the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), $175 million for nutrition services for older Americans, and through the Pandemic-EBT program, expands access to food for all children under age six who are enrolled in designated childcare programs. The package also includes another round of stimulus checks of up to $600 for individuals and expands the program to include families with a mixed immigration status. The package additionally includes $4 billion in global health funding for targeted global vaccine distribution.

While the relief package brings hope for many Americans and provides funding for global vaccinations, unfortunately, it does not include support for global pandemic hunger and malnutrition programs. The United Nations World Food Program warns extreme hunger could double, to 270 million people, by the end of 2020. And an additional 168,000 children could die globally by 2022 due to hunger and malnutrition as a direct result of COVID. Bread is asking Congress to provide at least $20 billion to fight COVID-19 abroad, including $2 billion for hunger and food security programs and $500 million for nutrition services.

“God calls on us to help those in need. During this season, many of us are contemplating and called to emulate the light of Christ during this dark time. Right now, the world is facing the greatest crisis in our lifetime. On behalf of our network of local churches, denominations, and other faith-based and anti-hunger organizations, I urge Congress to provide immediate assistance to address this global heath and hunger crisis,” added Cho.  

from our Resource Library

For Education

For Faith

  • Finding Hope, Ending Hunger on Both Sides of the Border: A Bilingual Latino Devotional

    Devotional writers challenge us to feel the Spirit of God within us and to hear God’s urgent call to demand justice so all can put food on the table.
  • The Bible on Health as a Hunger Issue

    “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.

    The Bible on...

  • Unity Declaration on Racism and Poverty

    A diverse body of Christian leaders calls on the churches and Congress to focus on the integral connection.

    Dear Members of Congress,

    As the president and Congress are preparing their plans for this year, almost 100 church leaders—from all the families of U.S. Christianity—are...

For Advocacy


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