Millions of parents and young kids could be denied food aid next year without funding boost, report warns


Millions of parents and young kids could be denied food aid next year without funding boost, report warns

According to a new report from the Food Research & Action Center, millions of young children and their parents could be at risk of going without food assistance in 2021 if lawmakers do not fund the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) adequately. The report, released on Sept. 25, reveals that nearly 11 million people—including 6.3 million children—in the United States could lose access to food insecurity programs if funding for key food assistance programs is not increased as the pandemic continues.

The FRAC report found that more than two-thirds of households in the United States that are food insecure contain one or more children under the age of 18, and many of these children are enrolled in the SNAP program. In turn, SNAP is one of the nation’s largest nutrition assistance programs and serves as a lifeline for these vulnerable children and their families. The report also noted that any drop in funding or reduction in benefits for SNAP in 2021 would create a ripple effect that could increase rates of hunger, poverty, and other social problems.

To prevent more people from slipping into poverty and hunger, FRAC is urging lawmakers to increase spending on SNAP as well as other government-funded nutrition assistance programs such as the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). TEFAP provides food assistance and ready-to-eat meals for those struggling with food insecurity. FRAC also recommends that policymakers ensure that benefits are adequately targeted to those who need it most by removing any income eligibility requirements that deem eligible individuals too affluent to receive aid.

Without timely and sufficient SNAP and TEFAP funding, many Americans could go without basic nutrition—especially in light of the current economic downturn. FRAC asserts that now is the time for lawmakers to prioritize the needs of struggling families and ensure that their health and wellbeing are no longer left to chance.