Grocery Model And WIC Rise Will “Assist Large” With COVID-19 Meals Uncertainty
Congress also passed an increase in supplement support services, which reached many more families, many of whom had increased needs due to the coronavirus pandemic. Families have also benefited from Pandemic EBT, which helps replace the meals children usually get at school. And of course, in addition to the checks many people have received through COVID-19 relief packages, most recently the American Rescue Plan, many families with children will soon receive an expanded child tax credit, paid monthly.
The New York Times interviewed a single mother of two who lost her job at the onset of the pandemic, received no unemployment benefits, skipped meals, and relied on pantries to extend her family’s food stamps for more than three weeks. As her help increased, she refused to use the extra money, fearing she would get into trouble. But between the increase in SNAP, an increase in the purchase of products in the Dakota Kirby’s total monthly aid rose from $ 665 to $ 930 – a “big old leap” that “would help” tremendously, “she told the Times reporter after she was told she wouldn’t have any problems if she did would spend.
This help is urgently needed, and not just from a few people. A survey by the Census Bureau in March found that 11% of adults said their households sometimes or often did not have enough to eat, just in the past seven days. Feeding America estimates that 42 million people, including 13 million children, will be food insecure by 2021. This is one of six children.
However, the demand is not evenly distributed. Food insecurity is always a racial and gender equality issue, and COVID-19 has tended to increase inequality, not decrease. Feeding America estimates that 21% of blacks will experience food insecurity by 2021, while only 11% of whites will.
In 2020, skyrocketing unemployment and the associated economic needs put a great strain on the ability of food banks and food pantries to keep pace with increased demand for their services. “Data from Feeding America, a national network of most of the US food banks, shows that its members spent far more in the last three months of 2020 than in the same period in 2019, ”the Associated Press reported last week. “The food banks that agreed to make their data publicly available to Feeding America, 180 out of a total of 200, distributed far more food overall – about 42% – in the final quarter of 2020 than in the same period in 2019.”
The people who run food banks and other nonprofit food aid will tell you they can’t handle the need for a bigger crisis like the coronavirus pandemic. That has to be done by the government.
“When you take the pressure off the charitable system by connecting people to SNAP, the charitable system can cater to the needs of people who don’t qualify, ”Kate Maehr, director of the Greater Chicago Food Depository, told the Times.
The necessary expansion of aid is happening to a large extent with the democrats who rule the federal government. A key challenge now, in addition to strengthening the economy by creating good jobs, is to make some of these temporary pandemic relief programs permanent.