Nearly 2 Million Pennsylvanians Rely on SNAP; Benefits Increase Needed to Address Food Insecurity
Scranton, PA – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) led a bipartisan group of Pennsylvania’s U.S. Representatives in a letter urging leadership in the Senate and the House of Representatives to address the growing food insecurity crisis in Pennsylvania, and throughout the country, by providing critical investments to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). U.S. Representatives Mike Doyle (D-PA-18), Madeleine Dean (D-PA-04), Susan Wild (D-PA-07), Matthew A. Cartwright (D-PA-08), Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA-05), Conor Lamb (D-PA-17), Dwight Evans (D-PA-03), Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA-06), Brendan Boyle (D-PA-02) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01) signed on to the letter.
“As you consider additional legislative priorities related to COVID-19, we urge you to address the growing food insecurity crisis by providing critical investments in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),” the Members of Congress wrote in the letter. “SNAP plays an essential role in the battle against hunger for nearly 2 million individuals in Pennsylvania, including seniors, children and individuals with disabilities. SNAP is one of the most vital social safety nets for Pennsylvanians and Americans across the country, and it must continue to play a critical role in reducing hunger and poverty throughout the COVID-19 health crisis.“
In order to address the ongoing food security during this crisis, the Members of Congress call for the following provisions to be included in the next COVID-19 legislative package:
- Boost the maximum SNAP benefit by 15 percent;
- Increase the monthly minimum SNAP benefit from $16 to $30;
- Place a hold on harmful rules that weaken SNAP eligibility and benefits; and
- Provide additional options and investments to support delivery for SNAP participants.
Recently, Senator Casey sent a letter urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and grocery and retail association leaders to immediately work to ensure SNAP participants can receive home food delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic. This effort was spurred by a phone call that his office received from a constituent who cannot safely leave home to travel to the grocery store, yet was denied home delivery as a SNAP recipient. Senator Casey urged USDA and retailers to act swiftly to address this problem so that SNAP participants may access healthy food safely and without barriers.
Read the letter here.