For Immediate Release-
April 29, 2020
Contact: Jake Flynn, 213.473.7003, cell- 310.663.3770
COUNCILMEMBER BLUMENFIELD INTRODUCES RESOLUTION URGING CONGRESS TO BOOST SNAP BENEFITS AMIDST COVID-19 PANDEMIC
WEST SAN FERNANDO VALLEY, CA – On April 29, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield introduced a resolution seconded by Councilmember Monica Rodriguez to call upon Congress to make critical improvements to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), previously known as food stamps, for struggling families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the several Federal aid programs rolled out to provide aid to struggling businesses and families, Congress has taken no action to expand SNAP for those who are food insecure.
“In LA and across the Country, food insecurity is one of the largest issues impacting families during the pandemic,” Blumenfield said. “Given rising unemployment rates and food bank data, there could be as many as 60 million people who don’t know when or where their next meal is coming. It’s time for Congress to boost SNAP benefits, implore USDA to expand SNAP-eligible delivery options, and urge the Federal government to increase access to SNAP for particularly vulnerable groups.”
SNAP has proven to be one of the most effective Federal programs to mitigate hardships for low-income families. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), SNAP expenditures not only benefit food insecure families—these expenditures are also one of the most efficient methods to support an economy during a recession. Blumenfield’s resolution specifically calls for Congress to boost the maximum benefit by 15%, double the minimum benefit to $30 a month, and allow EBT use on grocery delivery platforms benefitting local businesses. Every SNAP dollar spent in the local economy contributes to the wages grocery workers and food producers depend upon to maintain operations.
Blumenfield has been working on the local level to support food-insecure families and struggling Angelenos. Recently he allocated $100,000 from his discretionary funds to start an emergency nonprofit grant program to help local nonprofits such as the West Valley food pantry and West Valley YMCA, but expanded support to programs like SNAP is essential to help struggling families get by.
"COVID-19 is not only a national health emergency — it is also a time of urgent concern for those who are struggling with food insecurity in our country," said Abby J. Leibman, President & CEO of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger. "We have made it a priority to ensure that the Federal government makes SNAP available to all those who need it, so they can buy food in safety and with dignity. As a national anti-hunger organization that is proudly headquartered in Los Angeles, we are particularly grateful that Councilmember Bob Blumenfield has shown true leadership in introducing this Resolution, illustrating that leaders can show both compassion and wisdom in leading us out of this crisis."
Councilmember Bob Blumenfield is committed to helping families in need during the pandemic and has established an intake form for prospective volunteers and donors to connect with local nonprofits supporting families impacted by the pandemic.