Alliance to End Hunger Welcomes COVID-19 Relief Package, Cautions of the Long Road Ahead
December 22, 2020
WASHINGTON (December 22, 2020) – The Alliance to End Hunger welcomed the news of the bipartisan COVID-19 relief package and FY 2021 omnibus spending bill late Monday night. The legislation includes nutrition assistance in the United States that the Alliance has strongly supported.
“As we head into the holidays, we are thankful for this much-needed, hard-fought, bipartisan relief bill which will take some of the pressure off of millions of Americans who are struggling to get food on the table,” states the Alliance’s Executive Director, Eric Mitchell.
The bill includes a 15 percent increase of benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps) through June 2021. The Alliance and many anti-hunger organizations in the U.S. have been advocating for this increase for months. Additionally, the relief bill provides $175 million for nutrition services for seniors under the Older Americans Act, expands Pandemic EBT by allowing all children under age 6 deemed “enrolled” in child care, provides $300 per week federal unemployment benefits through mid-March, provides direct payments of up to $600 to adults and child dependents, and requires a USDA taskforce to provide recommendations for modernizing WIC.
COVID-19 relief unfortunately did not include the $2 billion for food security programming and $500 million for global nutrition that the Alliance had been advocating for.
“While we did not get everything that we wanted, this is an encouraging step in the right direction,” says Mitchell. “That being said, we have a long road to recovery ahead of us, and we look forward to continuing our work to ensure this crisis doesn’t leave anyone hungry.”