Lawmakers look to expand SNAP benefits in fight against food insecurity
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand proposed new legislation to expand SNAP benefits in an effort to fight back against ongoing food insecurity.
Gillibrand and other lawmakers introduced the Closing The Meal Gap Act to strengthen and expand the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program helping out nearly 40 million Americans.
The benefits were boosted during the COVID-19 pandemic to help families but were decreased back to pre-COVID-19 levels in February of this year.
The Closing The Meal Gap Act would increase the minimum SNAP benefit, break down eligibility limits and expand access to Puerto Rican citizens.
Gillibrand, bill co-sponsors and advocates say that food security is a basic human right, and that it’s important to ensure the protection of older adults, people with disabilities and veterans.
"Emergency allotments of the SNAP program just expired, so now the average SNAP recipient will get just about $2.03 a meal,” said Gillibrand. “Can you imagine feeding a family on $2.03 a meal? I can't. That's less than the average cup of coffee. The truth is the money families get through SNAP is not enough."