18 March 2020 – Expanded food assistance for low-income and vulnerable populations

Intervention Categories: Finance policy and financial aid; Stimulus packages and financial support
Level of Jurisdiction: Federal

Overview: The U.S. Congress included multiple initiatives to expand food assistance for low-income people as part of phase 2 and phase 3 legislation.

Phase 2 legislation provided $500 million to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, also known as “WIC”, for pregnant women and mothers who are laid off due to COVID-19; $400 million to the Commodity Assistance Program in The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) which purchases and distributes food to low-income Americans; $100 million for U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide food assistance grants to the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa; and through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, $250 million to Aging and Disability Services Programs for food assistance, including home-delivered nutrition services and services for Native Americans. Phase 2 legislation also allowed the U.S. Department of Agriculture to work with states to provide emergency SNAP (food stamp) benefits, allowed flexibility in application and reporting requirements, and removed work requirements for food stamp (SNAP) recipients until the public health emergency is lifted.

Phase 3 legislation provided an additional $15.5 billion to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), an additional $450 million to The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), $200 million for food assistance in Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories, and $100 million for Native American reservations.
Full details here: https://www.kff.org/global-health-policy/issue-brief/the-families-first-coronavirus-response-act-summary-of-key-provisions/