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Maine advocates urge Congress to increase SNAP benefits

Advocates in Maine are urging Congress to increase SNAP benefits as food insecurity surges due to the coronavirus outbreak.
(WCAX)
Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 9:44 PM EDT
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PORTLAND, Maine (WMTW) - Food insecurity is a growing national problem amid the pandemic.

Pantries are stretched thin -- and money is tight in many communities.

A non-profit brought together advocates from across the country Wednesday - to urge Congress to increase snap benefits.

They all want the next pandemic relief bill to include a boost for the program - and they're urging Congress not to leave until it does.

The problem of food insecurity is especially relevant now, as families struggle with the decision to send kids back to school.

“While child nutrition programs provide incredibly important meals in and out of school times, we know that snap is the largest child nutrition program in our nation, so throughout the pandemic, regardless of what school will look like in the fall we need to ensure right now, that families have far greater resources to continue putting food on the table,” said Heather Zimmerman, Preble Street Advocacy Director.

Preble Street says that in some of Maine’s more rural counties, 1 in 6 grocery bills is paid for by SNAP.

These advocates would like the Senate to boost the maximum SNAP benefit, and to increase the minimum benefit from $16 to $30.

Copyright 2020 WABI. All rights reserved.

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