Policy Responses to Hunger from Washington D.C.
From food stamps (SNAP) to school meals, from senior nutrition to support for pregnant mothers and small children – the major food assistance programs get their start in Washington, D.C. Federal laws and regulations establish eligibility, benefit levels, and program accountability requirements.
Hunger has reached shameful levels across the country due to COVID-19. We call on the California Congressional Delegation to take continued action at the scale necessary to end record hunger and systemic poverty facing our state.
While Congress took key steps last year and in the Budget Reconciliation package, much more is needed given the magnitude of hunger today. We must not go back to normal but build toward a hunger-free California.
Federal Legislative & Budget Priorities 2021-2022
Maximize SNAP’s Dual Role As Economic Driver & Anti-Hunger Powerhouse
We are advocating that our Members of Congress remember the lesson of the Great Recession by providing a proportionate response to the current crisis.
- Continue to increase the adequacy and duration of SNAP benefits by at least 15% until sufficient economic recovery has been realized, regardless of the public health emergency status to prevent a benefit cliff;
- Permanently strengthen SNAP by basing benefit allotments on the Low-Cost Food Plan, removing the cap on the shelter deduction, increasing the minimum benefit level, and better accounting for medical expenses incurred by SNAP participants who are older or have disabilities;
- Promote equity, including by eliminating SNAP time limits and improving SNAP access for college students, immigrants, former drug felons, and families working their way up the economic ladder
Child Nutrition Reauthorization
When nearly Nearly 1 in 4 California low-income households with children sometimes or often don’t have enough food to eat, dramatic policy action is demanded. Congress has an important opportunity in 2021 to improve the health of millions of our nation’s children by passing a strong reauthorization that protects and strengthens child nutrition programs. Read our Child Nutrition Reauthorization Priorities here.
We are also tracking a few bills and funding opportunities that will directly impact Americans struggling to make ends meet.
Improving Access to Nutrition Act – H.R.1753 (Lee; CA)
Repeals SNAP’s three-month time limit for out-of-work Americans.
Closing the Meal Gap Act – H.R. 1368 (Adams, NC)
Makes numerous improvements to SNAP benefit adequacy.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
Provide $900M in funding to purchase food for food banks and prevent a federal food cliff.
Learn more about Federal Policies Impacting Hunger:
- California Association of Food Banks – for the latest updates and news from a California perspective.
- Food Research and Action Center – for resources on federal legislation from our national partner
- Feeding America – actions you can take to impact federal hunger policies