Alliance to End Hunger Welcomes Passage of Coronavirus Response Bill

March 19, 2020

WASHINGTON DC, March 19, 2020 — The Alliance to End Hunger applauds the timely bipartisan negotiation and passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.  The legislation, which was passed by the House Saturday and by the Senate on Wednesday, provides authorization and funding for extensive relief related to the COVID-19 health crisis in the United States.

“We have heard about fear and anxiety faced by those in food insecure situations, including from our own Hunger Free Communities Advisory Council, and so the speed at which the bill passed with bipartisan support is deeply appreciated,” stated Rebecca Middleton, Executive Director of the Alliance.  “This legislation comes at a critical time for families across the country facing both health and economic uncertainty, and we hope this legislation leads to positive relief for those who are most affected by the immediate impacts of the Covid-19 crisis.”

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act includes critical funding and flexibilities to programs that are essential to food insecure individuals and families.  Among the provisions is $500 million to the Supplemental Nutrition Program For Women, Infants and Children (WIC); $400 million for the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which is essential for the nation’s network of food banks; and $250 million to the Senior Nutrition program that would expand home meal delivery to senior citizens.  Additionally, the bill provides flexibility for schools that have shut their doors for extended periods of time to continue to provide meals to kids who would normally receive free and reduced lunch.  Important provisions were also included that would improve the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), primarily the suspension of work requirements for beneficiaries during the health crisis and permissions for states to seek waivers for flexibility in providing SNAP benefits to impacted individuals.

“We are incredibly grateful for the quick action that the Congress took in collaboration with the White House,” added Middleton. “As additional stimulus packages are considered, we urge legislators and members of the Administration to prioritize poor and hungry people across the country in need of additional relief – both physically and mentally.”