Boost SNAP Benefits by 15% Says Fudge, Potential USDA Nominee


By Chuck Abbott, Successful Farming - 11/17/2020


On the same day President-elect Joe Biden urged Congress to pass additional coronavirus relief, Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge said on Monday “it is long past time to increase SNAP benefits by 15%” and devote additional funds to other public nutrition programs. Fudge, a leading nutrition advocate in Congress, is among possible Biden nominees for agriculture secretary.


A 15% increase in food stamps is among the elements of the $3 trillion coronavirus bill that was passed by the House last summer. Biden cited the bill when asked during a news conference what could be done quickly to reduce unemployment and ease economic turmoil. “What I would do is pass the HEROES Act,” said Biden, putting the onus on the Republican-run Senate to act.


“Today, hunger is reaching historic highs,” said Fudge on social media. “It is long past time to increase SNAP benefits by 15% and provide additional funding for nutrition programs that put food on the table.”


Fudge would be the first Black woman agriculture secretary if Biden chose her. The former mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio, Fudge won election to her eighth term on Nov 3.


Meanwhile, an array of farm, environmental. animal welfare and consumer groups signed a letter of opposition to former North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, the most prominently mentioned potential nominee for agriculture secretary. They hoped to have 100 signatures on the letter by Tuesday. Kari Hamerschlag of Friends of the Earth, one of the groups organizing the letter, said Heitkamp has supported agribusiness and fossil fuels so she is “is the wrong person to steer today’s agriculture away from energy intensive industrial monoculture and factory farming.”


“Personnel is policy, and Heitkamp would undermine any progress President Biden might hope to make” on climate change, said Krissy Kasserman of Food and Water Watch, another of the core signatories of the letter...


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