March 04, 2021

TOMORROW: Congressman Neguse to Speak with Colorado Food Banks on COVID-19 Operations and Need for Expanded Nutrition Assistance

Washington, D.C.—On Friday, March 5 at 4:30pm MT, Congressman Joe Neguse will host a virtual roundtable discussion with area food banks to discuss food assistance operations amidst COVID-19, and nutrition assistance resources outlined in the American Rescue Plan. 

“Since the onset of the pandemic, we have been working to ensure that key investments in nutrition assistance are made to keep Colorado kids and families fed while students are not attending in person school and countless families are struggling with unprecedented economic circumstances,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “Senator Michael Bennet and I have championed a successful effort to expand SNAP food assistance by 15%, this provision was enacted in December and under the American Rescue Plan will be extended through September 2021. As our communities continue to bear the brunt of this crisis, we must do everything we can to ensure families are not going hungry and that our local food banks have the resources they need during a season of unprecedented need.” 

Media may RSVP to attend the roundtable by contacting Sally Tucker at Sally.Tucker@mail.house.gov

The American Rescue Plan, passed by the House, will make key investments in food security. In response to persistent hunger in communities across the country, this bill helps combat increasing food insecurity with key investments in SNAP, WIC, Pandemic EBT and other critical nutrition assistance, including: 

  • Extending SNAP maximum benefits by 15 percent (through September 30, 2021);
  • Providing $1.1 billion in additional SNAP administrative funds to states to help meet the demand of increased caseloads and $25 million to improve the state SNAP online pilots; 
  • Allocating $800 million for WIC – supporting low-income women and infants – and temporarily boosts the value of WIC Cash Value Vouchers for vulnerable mothers and their children; and
  • Securing $37 million to cover food shortfalls in the Commodity Supplemental Food Program which seeks to improve the health and nutrition of low-income Americans over 60 years old through access to nutritious food.

The bill also maintains and expands the Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) program by investing  more than $5 billion in P-EBT so that low-income families have access to school meals and food assistance during both the school year and summer months, and it expands access to the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) to ensure more young adults can access needed nutrition support.

Background: 

Since the onset of the pandemic, Congressman Neguse has worked closely with food banks, and local organizations to bring in needed food assistance resources to Colorado. In April 2020, Congressman Neguse and Senator Bennet, introduced the Food for Families in Crisis Act to provide a 15% increase for SNAP, along with other provisions to strengthen the program. The pair volunteered at the Community Food Share in June, and heard from volunteers about the challenges posed by the pandemic. The COVID-19 relief package, which was enacted in late December, included the 15% increase in SNAP monthly benefits and assistance, fought for by Congressman Neguse and Senator Bennet, and the increase will be extended under the American Rescue Plan.  

Additionally, Congressman Neguse has introduced the Food and Necessities During Public Emergencies Act of 2020, to allow for SNAP benefits to be used to purchase certain durable household goods, such as diapers and cleaning products, during COVID-19 and future national emergencies and the Food Assistance for Kids and Families During COVID-19 Act of 2020, to  ensure SNAP and WIC benefits can utilized for grocery store delivery services to ensure vulnerable beneficiaries can access their benefits while staying at home. 

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