The Biden Administration scrapped a Trump Administration plan to tighten work requirements for food stamp recipients that would have affected 700,000 adults. Also, the results of a study on hunger in America.
CBS News: USDA Drops Trump Plan To Cut Food Stamps For 700,000 Americans
A Trump-era plan to cut food stamps is now off the table after the Biden administration said it is abandoning a previous plan to tighten work requirements for working-age adults without children. Those restrictions were projected to deny federal food assistance benefits to 700,000 adults, a proposal that had had drawn strong condemnation from anti-hunger advocates. The U.S. Department of Agriculture on March 24 said it is withdrawing a Trump administration appeal of a federal court ruling that had blocked the planned restrictions on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), better known as food stamps. Trump officials had filed the appeal in May, two months after the coronavirus pandemic had shuttered the economy and caused millions of people to lose their jobs. (Picchi, 4/1)
AP: US Hunger Crisis Persists, Especially For Kids, Older Adults
America is starting to claw its way out of the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, but food insecurity persists, especially for children and older adults. Food banks around the U.S. continue giving away far more canned, packaged and fresh provisions than they did before the virus outbreak tossed millions of people out of work, forcing many to seek something to eat for the first time. For those who are now back at work, many are still struggling, paying back rent or trying to rebuild savings. “We have all been through an unimaginable year,” said Brian Greene, CEO of the Houston Food Bank, the network’s largest. It was distributing as much as 1 million pounds of groceries daily at various points during the pandemic last year. (Snow, Santana and Choi, 4/1)
The Christian Science Monitor: Who Is Hungry In America? The Pandemic Has Changed The Answer.
Before the pandemic, rates of food insecurity in the United States had been declining during the longest economic expansion in the country’s history. The percentage of households that were food insecure for at least some portion of the year had dropped from 14.9% in 2011 to 10.5% in 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). But within those households, that still represented 35.2 million Americans worried about a low-quality diet or even when they would get their next meal. And now, over the past year, the pandemic has multiplied the number of people who face food insecurity in some way. (Fong, 3/31)
San Francisco Public Press: As Pandemic Threatens Restaurants, Charities Battling Hunger Can Help
On a sunny weekday morning in March just shy of the one-year anniversary of San Francisco’s shelter-in-place order, Brian Fernando, the chef and owner of the Michelin-rated modern Sri Lankan restaurant 1601 Bar & Kitchen, was in a rush. He and his only colleagues still working at the restaurant — his wife and one line cook — were busy transferring 105 individual brown paper bag lunches to the trunk of his car. He would then drive them from western SoMa, where his restaurant is located, to Lombard Street, the site of that day’s delivery. The lunches they had prepared were not the restaurant’s typical Sri Lankan-inspired dishes sourced from the foods of his childhood but, as requested by the community-based organizations working to feed residents facing food insecurity, “American comfort food.” “We’ve totally transitioned into basically a soup kitchen from normal restaurant operations,” Fernando said. (Paul, 4/1)
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