Kids in this nation are struggling to get enough to eat, including right here in New York. Congress has the opportunity to change that, but they must act now.
According to estimates, anywhere from 14 million to 17 million kids today aren’t getting the food they need because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s a stark contrast from 2019, when we saw food insecurity drop to some of the lowest rates on record – evidence that childhood hunger is solvable.
It’s still solvable, but only if Congress acts before September 30.
There are nutrition programs that work together to help address this crisis – SNAP, school meals and Pandemic EBT, specifically. But these programs need urgent action. Schools need child nutrition waivers extended through the end of the academic year so they can plan and prepare their meal programs for kids in need. Pandemic EBT, which provides a benefit to replace some of those meals when school buildings are closed, must be extended to help families throughout the upcoming year. And SNAP benefits must be increased by 15% during this crisis – about $25 per person per month.
The clock is ticking to put our nation back on a path to end hunger. I’m calling on Representative Lowey and House Leaders Pelosi and McCarthy to stand up for kids.
Director, No Kid Hungry New York