The Greater Boston Food Bank’s Statement on the new Biden-Harris Administration
On January 21, 2021, President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris were sworn into office. During their first two weeks in office, their administration have signaled to the American people that food insecurity is a priority in both the immediate as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and in the years to come as we strengthen our country’s anti-hunger programs.
Before President Biden even took the oath of office, he said that phrase “food insecurity” on national television as he was introducing his American Rescue Plan and explaining how addressing hunger was a crucial element of our economic recovery. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, two days before inauguration, both President Biden and Vice President Harris participated in service events at two food banks: Philabundance in Philadelphia and Martha’s Table in Washington, DC.
During his third day in office, President Biden signed an executive order asking the USDA to begin the process of increasing funding for Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) by 15%, boosting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) emergency allotments for our lowest income families, and updating the Thrifty Food Plan to better reflect current food prices and needs.
Biden also called on further action from Congress to extend the 15% SNAP increase that expires in June, make additional investments in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), research innovative ways to support restaurants while helping to feed our families, and provide additional nutrition assistance funding to the U.S. Territories.
The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) is encouraged by the steps that the Biden-Harris administration has taken thus far to address the current hunger crisis underway in this country. We have a lot more work to do as we are in an incredibly difficult time for our families in need. Over the last ten months, our network of 600 partner food pantries and meal programs have rose above and beyond their call of duty, but we know that we cannot rely on emergency food assistance alone to pull us out of this crisis. We need to invest in all of our hunger relief programs – SNAP, WIC, P-EBT – to sustainably ensure food security during this pandemic and far beyond it.
The new administration has only just begun, but we applaud their commitment of prioritizing nutrition assistance and economic stability. We look forward to continued action by President Biden and Vice President Harris as we work together to end hunger here.