American Rescue Plan
City Harvest thanks our policymakers for passing the American Rescue Plan to strengthen pandemic recovery efforts. This is an important step towards building long-term resiliency for communities that were in need prior to the crisis, and especially for Black, Latinx, and Asian New Yorkers, who are twice as likely to face food hardships.
The American Rescue Plan goes beyond previous relief packages. It includes increases to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), extends Pandemic Unemployment benefits, and targets small-business relief for the restaurant industry that has been hit especially hard during the pandemic. In December 2020, hundreds of food pantry and soup kitchen leaders sent more than 1,100 letters to their local, state, and federal representatives to advocate for a comprehensive COVID-19 emergency relief package. Many of the food assistance efforts in the American Rescue Plan reflect those leaders’ priorities. We commend our leaders in Washington for this critical step, and will work to ensure the benefits of this package go to those most in need.
The relief bill will help countless New Yorkers struggling during this crisis by:
- Extending Pandemic-EBT (roughly $125 in monthly benefits to purchase groceries for children) throughout the duration of the COVID-19 public health crisis, regardless of immigration status
- Extending Pandemic Unemployment Compensation through September 6, 2021
- Including funding to extend SNAP online purchasing and technology support through 2026 so that more States and food businesses have the support they need to accept SNAP for online grocery orders
- Providing funding for the USDA to purchase and distribute farm fresh foods to individuals in need, including through delivery to nonprofit organizations, partnerships with restaurants and other food related entities
- Allocating $5 billion for Restaurant Revitalization Grants to support hundreds-of-thousands of New Yorkers who work in the food service industry
- Prioritizing small businesses for a new iteration of the Paycheck Protection Program
- Providing $1,400 tax rebates for individuals who filed $75,000 or less in taxable income in 2019; the amount reduces by $50 for every $1000 over $75,000
- Boosting child tax credit of $3,000 a year for each child ages 6 to 17, and $3,600 for each child under age 6
- Increases to the minimum wage were excluded
- Making sure that the most effective programs do no end before the full recovery
- Investing in programs in the long term through the Farm Bill and Child Nutrition Reauthorization
- Ensuring that P-EBT and other programs are effectively implemented and accessed by New Yorkers
- Actively and continuously engaging Black, Latinx, Asian, and the most impacted communities beyond the relief package to ensure that future policies protect us from the systems that made us most vulnerable to the COVID-19 Recession
City Harvest will remain vigilant in our work to provide food for families today and in our advocacy for legislation that builds resiliency beyond COVID-19. Please check back for rolling updates on the food provision above.