U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, released the following statement in response to the Biden administration’s new executive actions set to tackle food insecurity:
“The Biden administration understands a truth that I’ve highlighted throughout the pandemic: to meet the moment, we must expand meaningful federal relief for families struggling to keep themselves healthy and fed. Through no fault of their own, this pandemic has left people sick and scared, hungry and hurting. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress, alongside the Biden administration to deliver on this plan to increase and expand SNAP and P-EBT benefits for low-income communities in New York and Puerto Rico—our communities can’t afford to wait any longer.”
- Tackling food insecurity continues to be a hallmark issue for Senator Gillibrand, who, since her first days in office, has led the fight to protect and expand access to healthy meals for children, families and seniors. Senators Gillibrand and Schumer were instrumental in obtaining approval for New York’s initial proposal for the P-EBT program, which has been successful in getting hungry children fed across New York State and the country. Gillibrand is an original co-sponsor of several pieces of legislation that would provide infrastructure, expand access to, and increase the availability of fresh and healthy meals to Americans in New York and across the country.
- Gillibrand recently announced the inclusion of $614 million in the FY ‘21 government spending package, which will provide increased food aid to Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa. Gillibrand previously wrote to Senate leadership urging the inclusion of increased food aid to Puerto Rico in the recently passed spending package. The funds will be distributed as block grants through Puerto Rico’s Nutrition Assistance Program (NAP).
- The senator introduced the Closing the Meal Gap Act of 2020, which would increase the baseline for SNAP benefits by approximately 30 percent to better align with household needs, along with Senators Harris and Sanders. Gillibrand also introduced the Food Bank Access to Farm Fresh Produce Act, which would create a new block grant program to allow food banks to purchase crops directly from farmers. Food banks would also be able to use these funds to pay for transportation, commodities, additional storage capacity and to hire additional staff. Gillibrand is the first senator from New York to serve on the Agriculture Committee in nearly forty years.
- Over the summer, Gillibrand visited food pantries across the state and in NYC’s five boroughs to fight for food security.