School Lunch Assistance is at Risk Amidst Hunger Crisis
In Montana, officials are claiming the need for assistance has dropped nearly 50% but food banks offering assistance are claiming April was the busiest month in history...
A food insecurity conference will be held and hosted by President Biden. This is the first conference in the last fifty years as now roughly 14 Million American households need reliable access to food.
"Too many families don't know where they're going to get their next meal. Too many empty chairs around the kitchen table because a loved one was taken by heart disease, diabetes, or other diet-oriented diseases, which are some of the leading causes of death in our country."
Biden said in a video.
Rising food prices continue to be ruthless on millions of Americans and corporate profiteering and the Covid-induced stock supply can be to blame. Over the past two years, some states have missed deadlines to renew their federal funding for food provisions which deems them now unnecessary that schools have reopened.
Montana parents specifically are worried that their kids will miss out on $36.6 Million in federal funds which goes towards food as the state is one that has missed the deadline to submit a plan. The Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer allows school children to buy food through EBT cards.
The advocacy coordinated with the Montana Food Bank Network, Wren Greaney, has said that the P-EBT outlet has helped parents in the state tremendously.
“We're definitely aware that it's important to parents. It did help them make ends meet."
However, the state has made no effort to replenish the food funds because the need for the package has allegedly dropped nearly 50% according to Jon Ebelt, the Montana Health Department spokesperson.
"Should the Biden Administration provide states with P-EBT flexibility and allow Montana to design a plan that meets its needs, DPHHS will reconsider participating in the program."
Ebelt told the Montanan in an email last month.
Contradicting the government claims, the Missoula Food Bank and Community Center stated that April was their busiest month in history. Jessica Allred, the food bank's interim co-executive director said, “We hope that the state will do the right thing and continue to support families through these challenging times."
Adding to the issue, the Biden administration is expected to let some pandemic-era school lunch waivers expire. This could lead to millions of kids closer to food insecurity as they have been receiving free or reduced-price meals.
"This has not been the recovery year that we thought it would be. School nutrition programs are still struggling families, and kids are still struggling. We're still transitioning back. Providing another year of these waivers will be critical to support kids and families, to support education, and to support the school nutrition operations."
Crystal FitzSimons, Director of School and Out-of-School Time Programs at the Food Research and Action Center, said in an interview.
Read in-depth HERE