Congressional COVID-19 package includes key anti-hunger investments, more still needed
December 22, 2020
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December 22, 2020 — Last night, Congress passed a bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill that makes critical investments in the social safety net. Almost a year since the catastrophic public health and subsequent economic and hunger crises began, more and more people have been pushed further into poverty and hunger. Right now, 1 in 4 Californians are experiencing food insecurity, with even greater rates of hunger experienced by Black and Latinx communities.
Together, with our member food banks, we thank Speaker Pelosi, Congresswoman Lofgren, and Congresswoman Lee for their unwavering commitment and months of leadership in pushing for meaningful investments in SNAP and other essential food programs. We also applaud the entire California delegation for this historic bipartisan vote, as well as Congressman Panetta and Congressman Costa for prioritizing SNAP and other food support in this legislation needed to fight the impact of the multi-layered crisis.
While the COVID-19 relief bill passed last night recognizes and provides support for the unimaginable challenges faced by Americans across the country today, this pandemic is expected to have long-term economic and unemployment impacts that will be felt for a long time to come.
Below is a summary of key highlights, drawn from a full summary published by Senator Stabenow and the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
Emergency Food Investments:
While we are incredibly grateful for this relief bill, as we head into a new year and a glimmer of hope shines with a vaccine, the harsh reality for many remains largely the same. We are in a full-blown hunger crisis. We know from the Great Recession that hunger lingers years after the economy begins to recover. Hunger finally returned to pre-recession levels just before COVID-19 struck.
In order to keep Californians healthy and nourished throughout the entire recovery process, we will continue to work with Congress to strengthen our social safety net and our food banks will remain on the frontlines, continuing to serve the increased need for food in our communities. We are in this for the long haul — not months, but years.