Amid the highest rates of unemployment and food insecurity in decades, anti-hunger experts and leaders are praising the Biden administration’s move to reverse a hateful and unnecessary Trump-era rule that sought to limit access to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps). Following the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision earlier this week to allow the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to withdraw its appeal related to SNAP requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents, Abby J. Leibman, President and CEO of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, welcomed the shift, calling it a return to normal and basic decency:
“I am encouraged by the Biden administration’s efforts to expand food access for all people experiencing hunger by reversing harmful policies advanced by the prior administration. USDA should have never sought to prevent unemployed individuals from receiving the food assistance they need, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated food insecurity and decimated the economy, causing people to lose their jobs, incomes, and livelihoods. The Biden administration’s return to normal — basic decency of assisting those in need — is a welcome change from the past four years.
“As the Jewish community prepares to celebrate Passover tomorrow evening, we are reminded of the call to ‘let all who are hungry come and eat.’ Ensuring that every person in this country has enough to eat should never be a controversial position, and we look forward to building on today’s ruling to deepen our government’s commitment to end hunger. Hunger is not an individual problem. It is a matter of political will, and we look forward to working with the Biden administration and Congress to advance and implement the structural solutions that will ensure that no one in America faces hunger in this land of plenty.”
MAZON has fought the Trump-era rule change since it was first announced in April 2018, calling special attention to the harmful impact it would have on millions of Americans, including America’s veterans. This includes submitting formal comments to USDA in April 2018 and March 2019, testifying before the House Committee on Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, coordinating a congressional letter signed by 60 Members of Congress, and joining an amicus brief in the D.C. Circuit Court case.