From the office of Senator Charles Schumer:
Schumer-Negotiation Previous COVID Legislation Added Flexibility To SNAP Program And Ensured Students Who Depend On Schools For Meals Would Have Access To Nutritious Food Even While Schools Were Closed; CARES Act Also Provided $15 Billion In Funding For Increased SNAP Coverage
Schumer Says While Important Progress Has Been Made, Far Too Many Americans Are Still Going Hungry As The Pandemic Stretches On; Senator Will Continue To Push For 15% Increase In SNAP Funding, Extension Of P-EBT, And Increase Of Minimum Benefit To $30 As Proposed In House-Passed HEROES Act
Schumer: No New Yorker Should Go To Bed Hungry; Further COVID Legislation Must Address Pandemic-Induced Food Insecurity
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer last week on a video conference call with CEO of Chobani, Hamdi Ulukaya, Senior Director of Chobani, Mark Broadhurst, CEO of Feeding America, Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, and Chief Government Affairs Officer of Feeding America, Kate Leone, renewed his commitment to expanding Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and extending the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) Program, which provides extra food benefits for families of students who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals when schools are open. Chobani and Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, have partnered together to combat the growing food insecurity challenges in the U.S. and advocate for policy changes like increased SNAP benefits. The senator said he is making it a priority to push his Republican colleagues to provide the full 15% increase in SNAP funding, extend P-EBT, and increase the minimum SNAP benefit to $30 as outlined in the House-passed HEROES Act as they negotiate the terms for the next COVID legislative package, also known as ‘COVID-4’.
“Let me be clear, no New Yorker should ever have to go to bed hungry or have to worry about where their next meal is coming from, which is why I am fighting during ‘COVID-4’ negotiations to make sure that expanding SNAP funding and extending P-EBT are on the table. During normal times, SNAP is our main program to stave off hunger, and especially during the pandemic, the program along with the P-EBT program, created specifically for students to be able to access nutritious lunches even though schools are closed, are our biggest safeguards against rampant food insecurity in the midst of a global health crisis,” said Senator Schumer. “Millions of people in New York and across America need continued access to these programs as the country recovers from the pandemic.”
Schumer has pushed for and successfully secured increased SNAP funding in previous COVID legislation that has already been enacted. In the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the CARES Act, the senator added flexibility to SNAP to make it easier for New Yorkers to access nutrition assistance and established the P-EBT. The CARES Act also provided $15 billion in additional funding for increased SNAP coverage.
However, the senator explained that while important progress has been made and past SNAP expansions have been a lifeline for many New Yorkers statewide, much more is needed to make up for the devastation of the COVID-19 crisis. In New York City alone,nearly two million New Yorkers are estimated to experience food insecurity before the end of the pandemic and in mid-April, a survey by Hunger Free America found that 38% of parents in New York City reported cutting the size of meals or skipping meals for their children because they could not afford food. Additionally, food banks across New York state reported an increase in demand and some even said they were forced to turn people away because they ran out of food. Without increased SNAP funding and an expansion of P-EBT in the ‘COVID-4’ bill, food insecurity is expected to increase for families in New York and across the country.