***For Immediate Release***
Thursday, August 20, 2020
For questions about P-EBT and SNAP, Contact:
Economic Justice Program Manager, Food and Nutrition Access
O: (402) 438-8853 x 126
Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed
C: (402) 504-0074
Organizations Urge Nebraska Governor to Continue Providing Food Relief for Nebraskans Hurt by COVID-19
Reopen the application for Pandemic-EBT and continue extending emergency SNAP allotments
Lincoln, NE — On Thursday, August 20, Nebraska advocacy, education, and food security organizations sent a letter to Governor Ricketts urging him to reopen the application for the successful federal option, Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT), which allows states to provide resources to families whose kids are on the free and reduced-price lunch program while schools were closed during the last school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter also urges the Governor to extend emergency SNAP allotments that have supported thousands of Nebraskans through job loss, reduced hours at work, and economic hardship brought on by the pandemic.
Our Economic Justice Program Manager of Food and Nutrition Access, Eric Savaiano issued the following statement:
“While we appreciate the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services taking up Pandemic-EBT this summer, Nebraska families and children are still struggling to access the nutritious food they need. Our state has around 105,000 students eligible for the program but when the application was open this summer, only 52,000 signed up for Pandemic-EBT. There’s still time to reopen the P-EBT application, but we need to hurry.
Additionally, extending emergency SNAP allotments through the month of August, a federally funded option that 38 other states have continued utilizing, will also go a long way toward filling the gaps left by closed businesses and social distancing.
While the pandemic continues, we want to give Nebraska’s kids every chance they have to sign up for P-EBT and help ensure that every SNAP participant receives the emergency allotments they depend on to buy groceries.”
The pandemic is still all too real for Nebraska families. Jobs are slowly coming back but an estimated 16% more individuals and 25% more kids are food insecure since before the pandemic.
The undersigned organizations believe that the Governor should both reopen the P-EBT application to allow for more than 50% of students to sign up and also continue emergency SNAP allotments while the state of emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic remains in place.
Center for People in Need
Center for Rural Affairs
Community Action of Nebraska
Food Bank of Lincoln, Inc.
Food Bank for the Heartland
Health Center Association of Nebraska
Heartland Family Service
Nebraska State Education Association
No More Empty Pots
The Big Garden
Voices for Children in Nebraska