The Greater Boston Food Bank Statement on the Release of the House of Representatives’ Updated HEROES Act
The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) strongly supports the updated HEROES Act released by the U.S. House Democrats on September 28, 2020. The comprehensive COVID-19 relief bill includes the anti-hunger community’s key priorities and much-needed benefit boosts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), including:
The bill also makes investments in other vital nutrition programs:
This past year, GBFB and our 550 partners across Eastern Massachusetts have served more than 80 million meals. Yet, for every food bank meal provided in Massachusetts, SNAP provides five. Strengthening this proven program is critical to helping millions of people afford the nutrition they need. SNAP is designed to respond quickly and effectively to address the growing need. And, for every $1 spent with SNAP, $1.70is generated in economic activity, which will help everyone in Massachusetts during this economic downturn.
Since the onset of COVID-19, the GBFB network has reported, on average, a 91% increase in clients served. Statewide, the SNAP caseload increased by 15 percent — to over half a million households. As the capacity of food banks has been stretched more than we have ever thought possible, we are pleased that the bill aims to strengthen our ability to do what we do best: feed families.
More than ever, we need our lawmakers to come together and pass a bill that strengthens every tool at our disposal to significantly curb hunger in our country. We urge the U.S. Senate to pass this updated HEROES Act before the October recess.
As we said with our state partners last week: Failure is not an option. Congress must act now.