Millions of parents and young kids could be denied food aid next year without funding boost, report warns
A new report from the Urban Institute warns that millions of families with young children in the US could be denied food assistance next year without a boost in federal funding. The report found that families relying on federal food aid, or SNAP, have faced financial strain due to the pandemic, with over 13 million people in the US enrolled in the program as of July 2020, an increase of 42 percent since August of 2019.
The report estimates that without additional funding, an estimated 41 percent of households enrolled in the program in July 2020 would not receive assistance in 2021. This includes an estimated 7.5 million families with at least one member below the age of 18.
The authors of the report recommend that Congress raise or extend the 15 percent increase in the maximum SNAP benefit that was included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was passed in March 2020. This increase was set to expire at the end of 2020, but could be extended through 2021 and potentially beyond. Without this funding, the authors warn that millions of children in the US will be at risk of going without food assistance and food insecurity.