The Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act that was signed into law by President Obama last week will provide much needed stimulus to hunger relief organizations and the people who depend on us. Additional funding of $19.9 billion for the food stamp program that is called Food Support in Minnesota (and SNAP in the rest of the country) will most likely begin as soon as April. This is good news for the more than 31 million Americans who rely on Food Support each month.
For food banks, an increase of $150 million for the TEFAP program will provide more good quality commodity food for food banks to distribute. This additional food comes at a time when we are struggling to find the food resources to meet the increasing needs in our communities.
The stimulus will also provide additional funding for WIC, the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, and for grants to states for senior nutrition programs like Meals on Wheels.
This is good news for hunger relief organizations as we try to meet the increase in need with limited resources. The safety net is thin, but the stimulus will help fill some of the holes.