Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and Feeding America, the national association of food banks, are making one final big push in the U.S. Senate as Senators start to come together to begin serious negotiations on the next stimulus bill. With only four weeks until they go back home for the August recess, they are working fast to finalize this bill.
Over the last three months, you have helped fight hunger at the highest level of government and we need your help with one last big push to get us across the finish line. Prior to the pandemic, 569,000 Central Floridians didn’t know where their next meal would come from. We’re estimating that an additional 295,800 children and individuals in Central Florida are experiencing food insecurity due to the pandemic.
In order to meet the demand, Congress will need to make additional investments in federal nutrition programs including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP is the nation’s largest domestic program to address hunger and provides healthy nutritious meals for thousands of Central Floridians in need. For every meal that food banks, like Second Harvest, put into the community, SNAP puts out the equivalent of 9 meals. An increase of SNAP benefits by 15% would provide an additional estimated $25 per month for an individual and just under $100 per month for a family of four. We need this now, more than ever.
Additionally, we ask that the Senate consider:
- Increase the SNAP minimum benefit from $16 to $30 to help individuals impacted by COVID-19, particularly seniors, for the duration of the economic downturn;
- Extend Pandemic-EBT to ensure children continue to have access to meals when schools are closed during this time and further support families in every state;
- Include an additional $500 million in food and funds for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) to assist with additional food purchases, and;
- Provide $543 million in funding for TEFAP storage and distribution and infrastructure needs to support food banks.
In this time of extreme need, tell Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott to help fight hunger in Central Florida, now more than ever.