Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced the “Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions” (HEROES) Act. The bill provides $3 trillion in economic relief for those affected by COVID-19, including a temporary boost to SNAP benefits for the millions of Americans facing food insecurity. However, the HEROES Act fails to include a critically important provision to address the long-overlooked challenges of hunger among military families.
In response, Abby J. Leibman, President & CEO of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, said:
“I am gratified and relieved that Members of Congress recognize the importance of SNAP in combating hunger as well as stimulating our economy. But I am also frustrated and baffled. Why have our policymakers again neglected to help currently-serving military families facing hunger? It is as outrageous as it is ironic, that in a bill titled HEROES we are still failing those who are the literal heroes who defend our country. Members of our military are stepping up to help deliver food to those newly struggling with hunger even as their own families also struggle. After almost 10 years of proposing solutions to this issue, we know that our leaders need only make a simple change in the law to ensure that military families can access SNAP. Surely we can all agree that SNAP is a lifeline for all those facing hunger. Don’t we owe it to our service members to make sure they can feed their families?”
Last week, Leibman co-authored an op-ed in Military.com with Ashish Vazirani of the National Military Family Association, urging Congress to take immediate action to ensure that service members can access SNAP, to avoid the long-overlooked problem of military families seeking emergency assistance at food pantries around the country.
In the wake of COVID-19, MAZON is keenly aware that there must be comprehensive solutions such as the ones in the HEROES Act, but this must be supplemented by provisions that address the unique issues facing certain populations including military families, veterans, Native Americans, and college students. MAZON created a 50-State Hunger Resource Guide to connect people to vital food assistance programs, many of which are being led and administered by the organization’s anti-hunger partners around the country.
About MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger:
Inspired by Jewish values and ideals, MAZON is a national advocacy organization working to end hunger among people of all faiths and backgrounds in the United States and Israel. For more information on MAZON, please visit mazon.org.