Tell Governor Ricketts to Reconsider Accepting Emergency Food Aid
Nebraskans pay federal taxes and deserve to benefit from federal aid when needed. Because COVID-19 threatens people’s livelihoods, their health and their ability to feed their families, Congress has authorized emergency increased food aid through the SNAP program. The SNAP program provides food support to low income individuals and families who are challenged economically even in the best of times.
Nebraska is one of two states in the nation that has refused this additional aid that comes at no additional cost to the state. Governor Ricketts has stated that since our unemployment rate has dropped, we no longer need this increased food instability support.
But uncertainty about COVID continues. The unemployment rate is not the only factor in food insecurity, especially in rural areas. They face higher rates of unemployment, greater distances to buy food, and local grocers who are struggling to keep their doors open.
With a 40% increased demand, charitable food banks are seeing long lines and additional pressure to feed those in need. The elderly and people with disabilities are especially challenged with higher food prices. Those who have lost their jobs and are slowly returning to work are often faced with fewer working hours and a pile of bills from when they were laid off.
Please remind Governor Ricketts what $7 million in food aid can do to support people’s families through the end of 2020. Not only will it feed people in need, but it will also help fuel our state’s economy especially in rural communities, supporting local grocers and agricultural business.
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