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Washington, D.C. – Bread for the World today applauded President Joe Biden’s executive order asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to allow states to boost Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and increase the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) program. The following statement can be attributed to Rev. Eugene Cho, president and CEO of Bread for the World:
“Bread for the World applauds President Biden’s executive order to significantly increase food assistance to families who need help most. Bread and our partners have been advocating for Congress to include these increases in the COVID relief packages. The 15 percent boost to SNAP benefits, also known as ‘food stamps,’ would assist the lowest-income families who were already at the maximum benefit and not helped by previous SNAP increases – approximately 40 percent of families on SNAP, or 12 million people.
“The 15 percent P-EBT increase would more accurately cover the cost of free or reduced-price school breakfasts and lunches children are not getting because schools are closed. This increase would give a family with three children an extra $100 to buy food every two months. The order would also make it easier for families to join the P-EBT program. Since its implementation, P-EBT has kept millions of children out of hunger. These changes would help even more children get the nutrition they need.
“God calls on us to help our neighbors who are struggling. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused hunger to skyrocket in the United States with as many as 29 million adults and 12 million children experiencing hunger, including Black, Latino, and Native American families who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. The SNAP and P-EBT increases ordered by President Biden will keep millions of families from going hungry. We urge Congress to include them in the next COVID relief package.”
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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is designed to respond to changes in need, making it well suited to respond to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bread for the World and its partners are asking Congress to provide $200 million for global nutrition.
In 2017, 11.8 percent of households in the U.S.—40 million people—were food-insecure, meaning that they were unsure at some point during the year about how they would provide for their next meal.