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Advocacy Call to Action: Tell Congress to Boost SNAP

The COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout has impacted many, particularly our most vulnerable neighbors. New data from The Greater Boston Food Bank and Feeding America reveals how this crisis has caused food insecurity to skyrocket by 59% in Eastern Massachusetts.

New Food Insecurity Data

This data validates the demand GBFB and our partner agencies have been seeing over the last couple of months and that will remain for several months to come. A few key stats:

  • 1 in 7 Massachusetts residents are now food insecure.
  • For children, food insecurity is projected to increase 81% this year (2nd highest nationally after North Dakota) to 1 in 5 children at-risk of hunger.
  • GBFB distributed 8.1 million pounds of food in March, 9.5 million in April and 9.7 million in May — the highest months in our 40-year history. The previous high was 5.7 million.

Read GBFB’s press release to learn more about this data >

Federal Action on Food Insecurity

This data demonstrates the need for Congress to double-down on its investments in SNAP, the first line of defense against hunger, in the next COVID-19 relief package. The emergency feeding system cannot shoulder this increased need alone, which is why GBFB is calling on Congress to include critical provisions for the expansion and sustainability of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP):

  • Increase maximum benefits by 15%
  • Increase the minimum benefit
  • Prevent implementation of rules that lower benefits or eliminate eligibility

SNAP is uniquely positioned to help us through both the economic and public health crises brought on by this pandemic. It helps struggling households buy food to keep them healthy while generating economic activity in our local economies. Congress must make these changes now for the future health and wellbeing of our communities.

Call to Action 

Tell Congress to Boost SNAP in the Next COVID-19 Relief Bill

  • FOR ORGANIZATIONS: Join GBFB, Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), Feeding America, Center for American Progress (CAP), and other national, state, and community-based organizations across the country in signing a letter urging Congress and the White House to immediately boost SNAP benefits and make investments in other critical nutrition programs with proven health and economic impacts.
  • FOR INDIVIDUALS: Call your members of Congress and tell them why they need to boost SNAP. Find your member here.
    • Not sure what to say? Try this script:

Hello [STAFFER NAME],

My name is [YOUR NAME] and I am constituent from [TOWN]. I am contacting you today about Congress’ response to the COVID-19 crisis.

I appreciate the work you are doing to help Americans hurt by this disaster.

However, food access is an issue that I care deeply about, and I don’t think it has received the support it deserves in Congress’ relief packages.

[SHARE PERSONAL STORY ABOUT WHY HUNGER MATTERS TO YOU]

As Congress debates its next steps, I’m asking you to invest in food assistance, particularly by raising SNAP minimum and maximum benefits.

Thank you for your time. Stay safe and healthy!

  • Raise awareness! Share GBFB’s posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
    • Suggested social media post: “#COVID19 has caused many families & individuals to feel the sting of hunger. We need Congress to step up, that’s why I’m calling on @MySenator & @MyRepresentative to fund #SNAP”

 

We’re in this fight together. Our collective health and well being takes our collective action.

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