Food Banks: USDA Program Helped but Better Ways to Meet Need

Muncie - Circa January 2018: A Sign at a Retailer - We Accept SNAP

The New York Times published this article to describe the various actions taken on the federal level to respond to the growing food insecurity since the pandemic. 

Increasing their support, the government doubled the maximum-allowed income level to receive food pantry support. They have also forced food pantries to double the frequency of allowed visits per month. These precautions have been crucial to supporting many Americans with adequate meals. 

There was an attempt in congress to increase SNAP by 15%, but is not currently being approved. According to the article, “[SNAP] provides an estimated nine meals for each one offered by the nation’s food banks.” SNAP is likely the more desirable form of aid than food pantries because it also offers the client much more choice. 

I likely won’t be involving myself much with SNAP, but it is important to understand the full context of how people are receiving support for food-insecurity needs. It has made me realize that – while food pantries are certainly important – they are not the primary method of support for many in-need households.