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Oct 01 2020 | 

Author: Andrew | 

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a revised HEROES Act – House Resolution 1753. Our organizations support the HEROES Act and call on the U.S. Senate to pass it and the President to sign it so that the much needed economic relief it offers will reach Americans this fall.

In an effort to secure the support of the President and the Senate, the House introduce and passed the revised HEROES Act, reducing the amount of aid in the Act from the $3.4 Trillion in the HEROES Act passed in May of this year to $2.2 trillion. Still the HEROES Act retains investments made to ameliorate hunger and support other basic human needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our organizations are grateful for the House vote today and for the leadership of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her unwavering support for the nutrition safety-net, especially as we face the daunting task of preventing hunger during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and preparing for an inclusive and just recovery. We are especially grateful for the Act’s direct and flexible relief for state and local governments, the increase in Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) funding, the several temporary changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) including the boost in benefits by 15%, the extension of Unemployment Insurance Assistance, and the renewed direct payments which ensure that immigrants and college students are included. A section-by-section summary is here and details of local relief are here.

The support provided by the HEROES Act are desperately needed in California, where millions are struggling to pay for their basic human needs like housing and food amid the worst recession in recent history. California’s unemployment remains stubbornly high, particularly for Black and brown Californians. “What’s more, the financial situation for many people has deteriorated as Congress has failed to extend additional federal unemployment benefits or provide any new economic relief that would significantly help children, families, and individuals who have lost income and cannot safely return to work,” reports the California Budget and Policy Center in a report published earlier this week. The Center also found that more than 20% of Black and Latinx households with children are struggling to afford enough food in California, compared to about 9% of white households. Many of these same Californians are immigrants and essential workers who are at greater risk of COVID-19 because they are on the frontlines of the pandemic, risking their lives and health by growing, picking, packing and selling the food that the rest of the country is relying on. 

Finally, we are grateful to our national anti-hunger partners. Their statements on the HEROES Act can be found here: Food Research and Action Center; the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; and Feeding America.