Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Trump's USDA fights court ruling protecting food benefits during pandemic

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The Trump administration, aiming to tighten rules for federal food benefits, has appealed a federal judge’s ruling that temporarily enabled hundreds of thousands of people to maintain food stamp benefits during the coronavirus pandemic, according to court documents.

Read the story here

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Want to Fight Rising Food Insecurity? Listen to People Who’ve Been Hungry.

As families face sudden, chronic food shortages, three researchers share lessons from hundreds of interviews with the food insecure.


The nation’s food assistance programs—including SNAP, WIC, and school meal programs—are among the last vestiges of a safety net that have been under attack for decades. Now, the pandemic threatens to tear them apart. Although the first major COVID-19 relief bill included more than $1 billion in food assistance, the COVID-19 relief bill that passed in April failed to increase monthly SNAP benefits; Democratic lawmakers are calling for the government to increase those benefits by at least 30 percent. 

Read interviews from people struggling to put food on the table here

Friday, May 1, 2020

Online Red Nose Day - How you can help children in poverty during the pandemic without leaving home

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun
While most of the world has hit pause on daily life, kindness and giving can be considered essential services. Socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 health pandemic are challenging families across the globe, as schools have closed, after-school meal programs have paused, businesses have shut down, and families are feeling greater strain on finances.
Children living in poverty are especially vulnerable, needing the support of nonprofit organizations and community assistance now more than ever. Providing this support has always been the mission of Red Nose Day – the annual fundraising campaign encouraging Americans to aid organizations working to end child poverty through the purchase of Red Noses at Walgreens.
This year the campaign is back, but instead of selling the iconic Red Nose in Walgreens stores, the retailer created a way to engage in kindness and giving from the safety of your home to support children in need and those affected by COVID-19.
Due to public health concerns and the need for social distancing because of the COVID-19 outbreak, Walgreens is bringing Red Nose Day digital. The online shift offers a way for everyone to rally around the Red Nose in support of those in need during a critical time, even while remaining physically distant.

The Safety Net Can Do Better for People with Poor Health and Disabilities

Angela Rachidi, posted on 

The economic fallout from this pandemic means that more Americans will experience poverty in the months and immediate years to come. This realization comes on the heels of the longest economic expansion in history, when many Americans escaped poverty through a combination of employment and government supports for working people. While progress on poverty may stall in the face of the impending economic downturn, policymakers can reform safety net policies to blunt the long-term effects for one particularly vulnerable group — those with disabilities and health issues.
See the analysis here

Thursday, April 23, 2020

About Half of Lower-Income Americans Report Household Job or Wage Loss Due to COVID-19


Only 23% say they have emergency funds that would last them three months

As the economic toll from the coronavirus outbreak continues to mount, a new Pew Research Center survey finds the impact is falling more heavily on lower-income adults – a group that was feeling significant financial pressure well before the current crisis. Overall, 43% of U.S. adults now say that they or someone in their household has lost a job or taken a cut in pay due to the outbreak, up from 33% in the latter half of March. Among lower-income adults, an even higher share (52%) say they or someone in their household has experienced this type of job upheaval. Read about the survey here

Strengthening School Nutrition in the Face of COVID-19

From Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light what we’ve long known to be true: school nutrition is essential to kids’ health and well-being. In the United States, 30 million kids rely on school meals every day. That means when schools close, 30 million kids’ primary source of nourishment is jeopardized. This loss is felt most by low-income families and communities of color, who are also likeliest to feel the impacts of COVID-19 in other devastating ways. Here is an important analysis.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Pa. adjusts work times to protect state government workers from COVID-19 in county assistance offices

PennLive, April 13

Workers who are responsible for processing claims for food stamps and medical assistance are now working on morning and evening shifts to handle the onslaught of claims their offices have been receiving during the coronavirus pandemic.
This is the latest adjustment to the work schedule for state Department of Human Services employees in county assistance offices made as a result of negotiations between the Wolf Administration and the Service Employees International Union Local 668 to protect workers from COVID-19. See the story details here: