An editorial by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack supports passage of the American Rescue Plan. The legislation, passed by the House and up for consideration in the Senate, is President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion economic relief package to help the nation recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Specifically, Vilsack says the plan is “one of the strongest pieces of legislation in recent memory dedicated to addressing hunger and food insecurity.” Vilsack says hunger has increased throughout the pandemic, with as many as 30 million adults and 14 million children living in a household where they may not always get enough to eat.
Further, the pandemic has exacerbated longstanding disparities in food insecurity. The American Rescue Plan provides funding to USDA to expand federal nutrition assistance programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, and a complimentary program that helps mothers and children under five and other emergency benefits to children, seniors, and the disabled.