D.C. Hunger Solutions Deeply Disappointed in Lack of Implementation for Give SNAP a Raise, Calls for Additional Investments to End Hunger in the District
202-640-1089, ext. 3039
Statement attributable to LaMonika Jones, Director of D.C. Hunger Solutions
WASHINGTON, December 4, 2023 – D.C. Hunger Solutions is deeply disappointed that full funding is not being implemented for Give SNAP a Raise, eliminating much-needed additional Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for individuals and families with low incomes in the District.
Hunger remains a critical issue across the District, and SNAP is our first line of defense in the fight against hunger. Ten percent of households in Washington, D.C., experience food insecurity, with older adults experiencing hunger at one of the highest rates in the nation at a staggering 13 percent. According to the 2022 Assessment of the Food System in the District of Columbia, an average of 25 percent of District residents participate in SNAP. Of the SNAP participants who reported race, over 90 percent identified as African American.
The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated hunger in our city, and many of the 140,000 residents participating in SNAP saw dramatic cuts to their monthly benefits after the end of temporary pandemic-era benefits boosts in March, with many participants receiving a mere $6 a day in benefits. Additionally, the federal Public Health Emergency ended, which removed several administrative flexibilities that supported SNAP households, particularly populations including college students, households with children, and unhoused teenagers. This has resulted in a hunger cliff — increased food insecurity and hardship for SNAP participants.
Give SNAP a Raise is critical to address food insecurity and ensure tens of thousands of D.C. residents have greater flexibility and equitable access to purchase nutritious food. Local investments will help D.C. residents better grapple with the hunger cliff amid rising food costs. Give SNAP a Raise is a vital lifeline for our most vulnerable populations, including older adults and immigrant and non-English-speaking households. Give SNAP a Raise also supports local retailers, as SNAP has a proven record of stimulating the economy. The Department of Health Care Finance must take the necessary steps to ensure all District residents can access healthy affordable food and meet a basic human need.
No one in the nation’s capital should go hungry. It is a moral failure to let residents slide further into poverty and hunger when solutions exist to support those in need. We urge the Executive Office of the Mayor to fully implement Give SNAP a Raise so all residents can access healthy, affordable food. We must act now to end hunger in the nation’s capital.
About D.C. Hunger Solutions
D.C. Hunger Solutions, founded in 2002 as an initiative of the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), works to create a hunger-free community and improve the nutrition, health, economic security, and well-being of low-income people in the District of Columbia. To learn more about D.C. Hunger Solutions, visit www.dchunger.org.