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FOOD INSECURITY PROJECTIONS AND INCREASED SNAP BENEFITS – APRIL 9

UPDATED FOOD INSECURITY PROJECTIONS

Feeding America recently released updated projections for food insecurity in the U.S., accounting for economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. While food insecurity rates are still projected to have increased due to the pandemic, the latest estimations show a lesser impact than previously projected. As of March, Feeding America projected that one in eight people in Second Harvest’s service territory, or 13.2% of the population, faces food insecurity—down from a projection of one in six in October 2020. The study projects that one in five children, or 18.7% of the child population, faces hunger—down from a projection of one in four. 

Second Harvest utilizes this data to guide its hunger relief work throughout Eastern Washington and North Idaho. While these projections show lower food insecurity rates than originally expected, many people in our community continue to struggle to afford nutritious food for themselves and their families. Feeding America and other researchers expect the financial impacts of the pandemic to outlast the threat of the virus itself and will continue to work to increase healthy food access throughout the region for our neighbors in need—like Lindsey. After losing her job twice due to the pandemic, Lindsey is working to get back on her feet. “This year has been overwhelming, and this is one less thing I have to worry about,” she said after turning to Second Harvest for help for the first time. You can read more about Lindsey and others facing hunger during this time here. 

INCREASED SNAP BENEFITS

The federal government recently expanded SNAP benefits for families in need of food assistance during the COVID-19 crisis. These expanded benefits will provide $1 billion a month in additional food assistance to 25 million people in very low-income households. These benefits specifically aim to help families that were ineligible for expanded SNAP benefits earlier in the pandemic because they were already receiving or close to receiving the current maximum amount. SNAP continues to be an important resource for food insecure people. Second Harvest and its partners work to provide supplemental, local resources for food assistance at no cost. To learn more about the recent expanded SNAP benefits, read this article from The Seattle Times. 

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