More than 44 million Americans experienced food insecurity last year, the highest number since 2014, at the same time that pandemic assistance was reduced, said a USDA report on Wednesday. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and anti-hunger groups called on Congress to protect funding for public nutrition programs, including WIC and SNAP.
Russia's months-long drive to shut off Ukraine grain exports has produced both financial and diplomatic gains for President Putin, said a Washington think tank. "Securing ample and low-cost export routes for Ukrainian grain and increasing investments to rebuild Ukraine's agricultural sector are crucial to to defusing what has become one of Russia's most potent weapons in its war with Ukraine," said the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Two million SNAP households "faced food insufficiency" following the nationwide termination in March of so-called emergency allotments enacted during the pandemic, said researchers from the University of Pennsylvania medical school.
The United States will work with allies to find new ways to get Ukrainian grain onto the world market following Russia's decision to effectively blockade its ports again, said an administration spokesman on Monday. Nonetheless, exports from Ukraine, a leading supplier of wheat, corn, and sunflower oil, are sure to decline with the demise of the year-old Black Sea grain agreement, he said.
One in six of the older Americans targeted by an expansion of SNAP work requirements in the debt ceiling bill negotiated by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Biden lives in California, said the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities on Wednesday.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy agreed in debt limit negotiations with President Biden to exempt able-bodied veterans and homeless Americans from a 90-day limit on SNAP benefits, said two White House officials. But the agreement also applies the 90-day limit to so-called ABAWDS — able-bodied adults without dependents — up to age 55; the cutoff age is 50 now.
A diverse group of nutrition advocates, environmentalists, medical associations, teachers unions and parent's groups are joining forces to push Congress to make school meals free for all children, regardless of their families' income. Until now, free school meals have been limited to children from low-income families, although rules were relaxed during the Covid-19 pandemic. (No paywall)
About 1 million Americans would be affected by the House Republican plan to apply more broadly a 90-day limit on SNAP benefits to people who do not work at least 20 hours a week, said a think tank on Monday. “Not everyone newly subject to the requirement would lose benefits,” said the Center on …
In a skeleton list of demands for White House concessions over the federal debt limit, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said on Monday that Republicans "would restore work requirements that ensure able-bodied adults without dependents earn a paycheck and learn new skills." McCarthy did not specify which federal programs he meant but SNAP usually limits so-called ABAWDs to 90 days of benefits in a three-year period unless they work at least 20 hours a week.
High food prices and a rollback of pandemic aids drove a significant increase in food insecurity last year, according to a survey by the Urban Institute that was published Tuesday. Some 24.6 percent of adults surveyed reported experiencing food insecurity in 2022, up from 20 percent in 2021. (No paywall)
Ukrainian scientists say soil samples from the Kharkiv region show that “high concentrations of toxins such as mercury and arsenic from munitions and fuel are polluting the ground,” according to a Reuters report.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine fueled a sharp rise in food prices last winter, but prices have fallen for 10 straight months, said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
Millions of Americans are about to lose nearly $3 billion in SNAP benefits that were put into place to fight hunger during the pandemic. The extra benefits were not supposed expire until end of the Covid-19 public health emergency. But the government spending bill passed by Congress in December makes February the last month that the federal government will issue the emergency allotments. Anti-hunger groups say that these allotments have been a lifeline for families that are barely coping with high food and energy costs. They warn that people will go hungry, food pantries — already struggling with exceptionally high demand — will be overwhelmed and the economy will suffer. (No paywall)
With U.S. wheat selling for a record-high average of $9.10 a bushel, growers say they will sow the largest amount of land to wheat in seven years, enough to bump up production by 17 percent.
School meals should be free for all kids, regardless of their families' incomes, said the School Nutrition Association in a position paper released on Wednesday. Students have racked up $19.2 million in debt for meals they couldn't pay for since the waivers that made school meals universally free during the pandemic expired last spring, said the group.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine drove food prices to record levels during 2022 and the Food Price Index remains elevated after a nine-month decline, said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
An estimated 2.2 million people in America are water-insecure, and that's almost certainly a huge undercount, explains Lela Nargi in FERN's latest story. Yet the issue "is not even on most public health professionals’ radar, although recent water disasters in Flint, Michigan, and Jackson, Mississippi, are starting to change that."
UN and European leaders called on Russia on Sunday to revive the international agreement for grain exports from Ukraine, calling it crucial for stabilizing grain prices and keeping food flowing to tens of millions of people.
The Biden administration on Monday set a date of Sept. 28 for the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in Washington, D.C. The conference will be the first of its kind in more than 50 years.