To the editor:
Today, 1 in 5 kids in New York may face hunger. That number would be much higher if not for actions taken by federal and state leaders that significantly blunted hardship and hunger for many New Yorkers during the COVID-19 crisis.
But without action from Congress, new and enhanced policies that are helping feed more kids than ever before will expire, and we could see hunger skyrocket.
First, Congress must make the Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer program, or Summer EBT, available nationwide. Throughout the pandemic, it has gotten food to kids in need by helping parents buy groceries when schools are out of session. Making New York eligible to participate in this program would be a huge support for as many as 2.5 million children across the state.
Second, the enhanced Child Tax Credit (CTC) is helping more families pay for food and other essential items. Extending the enhanced CTC would benefit more than 3.5 million kids in New York, including more than 1.5 million previously denied the full benefit because their families didn’t make enough to qualify. The CTC is already proving to help families put more food on their table during difficult times.
And third, the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) makes sure more kids have access to healthy meals at school with less red tape for school districts.
Senator Schumer, New Yorkers need you now. Please urge your fellow members of Congressional leadership to prioritize these policies and programs in the Build Back Better plan.
Rachel Sabella, Director of No Kid Hungry New York
Sherry Tomasky, Director, Public Affairs, Hunger Solutions New York