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As unemployment skyrockets, advocates push Congress to increase SNAP benefits

As unemployment skyrockets, advocates push Congress to increase SNAP benefits
Posted at 3:21 PM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 16:39:43-04

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Food banks are seeing an average of 70% more people looking for help right now. Feeding America says nearly 40% of those people are new to food banks and pantries.

Advocates say it can be hard to ask for help, which is why the nonprofit Christian organization Bread for the World is pushing for the most vulnerable to get additional help through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

As unemployment skyrockets and food banks struggle to meet demand, the group wants Congress to approve a 15% increase in benefits for everyone in the program.

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a 15% increase in the food stamp maximum benefit would equal $25 per person, or $100 a month for a family of four.

“History has shown us by making this investment, it does enable families to gradually come out of poverty and to be able to buy those extra food supplies and allow other income to go toward medical supplies to invest in other household goods that they would not otherwise have,” said Heather Taylor, Strategic Campaigns Director for Bread for the World.

Bread for the World also wants Congress to relax some restrictions on food benefits so states can have more flexibility to do things like make changes to school food programs.

You can visit BreadfortheWorld.org to find a button to write your local congressman, asking for the increase in SNAP benefits.