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Food assistance badly needed

To the Journal editor:

A new Brookings Institute survey found among mothers with young children, nearly one fifth say their children are not getting enough to eat during this pandemic, a rate three times as high as in 2008, during the worst of the Great Recession. This should be deeply concerning to all of us, especially our elected leaders in Washington, D.C.

In the next COVID-19 relief package, Congress must guarantee that anyone who needs nutrition assistance is able to access it and increase benefits to better serve struggling families. They can do this by boosting the maximum SNAP (food stamp) benefit nationwide, raising the minimum benefit to $30/month, and removing the barriers to access to nutrition assistance put in place by the Donald Trump administration. These are all no-brainers as the pandemic continues, unemployment rates soar, and our economy runs on fumes.

Leaders concerned about the economy should focus on SNAP. SNAP benefits are one of the fastest, most effective forms of economic stimulus because they get money into the economy very quickly. This is the type of relief struggling families and our struggling economy needs now!

This is not the time to give more money to the rich who do not need it but to our kids who are the future of our country. We cannot afford to starve the children who have no say and had nothing to do with this virus and the damage it is causing. Call your elected officials and tell them to save our children.

MARY O’NEILL

Presque Isle, Michigan

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