Congresswoman Barbara Lee Leads Colleagues in Sending a Letter to Biden Calling for Increases to Nutrition Safety Net Funding

Washington, D.C. –– Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), along with Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA), Ted Deutch (D-FL), and Alcee Hastings (D-FL), led 48 members of Congress in a letter urging President Biden to increase funding levels for the federal nutrition safety net programs in the Fiscal Year 2022 budget. 

“SNAP is the nation’s first line of defense against hunger. SNAP is especially vital for vulnerable populations. More than 85 percent of all SNAP benefits go to households with children, seniors, and persons with disabilities,” the lawmakers wrote. “We applaud your plan’s commitment to improve SNAP benefit adequacy as a core tenet.”

The lawmakers continued, “We urge your budget to include funding to fully implement the necessary actions outlined in your American Rescue Plan  and your Executive Order, to extend the 15 percent benefit increase as long as economic conditions require while avoiding a harmful benefits cliff,  provide Emergency Allotments to the lowest-income SNAP households, address the core inadequacy of SNAP benefits by moving to the Low Cost Food Plan, fully support states to administer this critical program through the crisis, and connect more eligible people with benefits.”

Since the start of the pandemic, overall hunger has only worsened, and longstanding racial and economic disparities have been deepened. As of December 2020, 38.6 percent of Latinx and 40.6 percent of African American households with children suffered from food insecurity compared to 24.2 percent of White households.

Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity had been a serious problem across our nation, with more than 35 million people suffering from food insecurity in 2019. Food insecurity impacts many vulnerable individuals, including children, older adults, people with disabilities, low-income families, LGBTQ individuals, and many others.

To read the full letter, click here.

This letter was also signed by Representatives Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Juan Vargas (CA-51), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Michael F.Q. San Nicolas (GU-00), Adam Smith (WA-09), Raúl M. Grijalva. (AZ-3), Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Peter Welch (VT), Danny K. Davis (IL-07), Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Bobby L. Rush (IL-01), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Marilyn Strickland (WA-10), Al Lawson (FL-05), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Eric Swalwell (CA-15), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Jesús G. “Chuy” García (IL-04), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Seth Moulton MA-06, Salud O. Carbajal (CA-24), Robin L. Kelly (IL-02), Suzan K. DelBene (WA-01), Sara Jacobs (CA-53), Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32), Frank Pallone (NJ-06), Jr., Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30), Donald M. Payne (NJ-10), Jr., Grace Meng (NY-06), Ed Case (HI-01), Kim Schrier (WA-08), M.D., Elaine G. Luria (VA-02), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Angie Craig (MN-02), Emanuel Cleaver, II (MO-05), Albio Sires (NJ-08), J. Luis Correa (CA-46), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10).

Endorsed by: Food Research & Action Center, Feeding America, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, CA Food Banks, Alameda County Community Food Banks, Children’s Defense Fund, Feeding Wisconsin, The Women’s Building, Amador Tuolumne Community Action Agency Food Bank.