Kansas organization pleads with Senate for food security relief package
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas Appleseed pleads the Senate to act on food security in Kansas before many go hungry due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kansas Appleseed, an organization dedicated to helping Kansans, says the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted food security for many Kansas families. The organization says data shows 9,000 more Kansans on SNAP benefits in May 2020 than in April 2020 and more than 6 million meals had been served through the Summer Food Service Program in March, April and May.
“We are concerned about the health and well being of our fellow Kansans,” says Jami Reever, Kansas Appleseed executive director. “More Kansas families are relying on food banks and Summer Food Service Programs to feed their families. As state officials work to provide increased access to food nutrition programs, our federal representatives can also take action.”
The organization says the U.S. Senate has the unique opportunity to quickly act and ensure that Kansans get the nutrition needed by passing a comprehensive relief package boosting SNAP benefits and increasing funding for other vital programs that deliver nutritious food.
“We need our congressional leaders to take a long, hard look at the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and make important, permanent changes to make sure that their fellow Kansans don’t go hungry,” says Reever.
Kansas Appleseed says Kansas is facing major budget shortfalls due to the health crisis and that SNAP is one of the most powerful tools to stimulate the economy.
Kansas Appleseed and the Food Research and Action Center say they are urging the Senate to do the following to help Kansans:
- Increase the maximum SNAP monthly benefit by 15%, which is in line with what Congress approved in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2008/2009.
- Increase the minimum monthly benefit from $16 to $30, almost doubling it. The organizations say this helps older adult communities and newly struggling families.
- Remove pre-coronavirus rules that would strip SNAP benefits from over 700,000 people by USDA estimates. The organizations say the rules make it harder for families to work their way toward economic stability. The organizations want revisions to eligibility requirements, standardization of utility costs that determine eligibility and time limits on SNAP benefits or unemployed or underemployed adults in areas with insufficient jobs.
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