Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Lawmakers Must Strengthen SNAP in Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic
Press Release

Washington, D.C. — The coronavirus crisis is exacerbating America’s food security crisis. In 2019, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helped feed 38 million people across the country, and that number is likely to increase in the coming weeks and months, as millions continue to file for unemployment.

A new analysis from the Center for American Progress looks at the growing problem of food security and recommends that lawmakers take the following steps to ensure that low-income people do not go hungry:

  1. Increase and expand SNAP benefits: Current benefits only average $1.40 per meal per person. This was already insufficient, but it is now even more so as families stock up to weather this public health emergency.
  2. Make long-term structural changes to improve basic living standards: Many of the suggestions for strengthening SNAP in this particular crisis align with suggestions that experts have been making for years to ensure that the U.S. government can meaningfully serve the most vulnerable.
  3. Stop attacking SNAP: The Trump administration has repeatedly tried to dismantle the SNAP program. But regulations that were cruel during the height of President Donald Trump’s economy are now even more inhumane amid the coronavirus crisis

“SNAP is a vital, time-tested way to put food on the tables of hungry, low-income people,” said Areeba Haider, a research assistant for the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress. “As millions of people lose their jobs and experience food insecurity due to the coronavirus, it is vital that lawmakers strengthen and expand SNAP so that it is ready to help as many people as necessary.”

Read the column: “Lawmakers Must Strengthen SNAP in Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic” by Areeba Haider

For more information or to speak to an expert, please contact Julia Cusick at [email protected].

To find the latest CAP resources on the coronavirus, please visit our coronavirus resource page.