MAZON Applauds Nutrition Provisions in House-Passed COVID Relief Bill, Urges Rapid Senate Action

March 1, 2021

Late Friday evening, the U.S. House of Representatives passed federal COVID-19 relief legislation, which included boosts to critical nutrition programs and a historic provision to increase the federal minimum wage to reach $15 per hour. This morning, Abby J. Leibman, President and CEO of MAZON released the following statement urging the Senate to move swiftly to bring critical relief to the millions of people across the country struggling to put food on the table, and for Congress to take further action to ensure a livable wage for all Americans:

“Now that the House has passed President Biden’s COVID-19 relief package, the Senate must take immediate action to ensure millions of Americans have access to critical nutrition assistance in the middle of the pandemic. The funding for SNAP (formerly known as food stamps), WIC, and P-EBT in the package passed by the House represents a down payment on addressing a problem that runs much deeper than the immediate crisis. As an organization guided by the Jewish imperative to pursue justice, we know that in a land of plenty, it is fundamentally unjust that anyone faces hunger. 

“We also understand that raising the minimum wage is an essential step to ending hunger in this country. The vast majority of SNAP recipients are working — sometimes multiple jobs — but they are still unable to feed themselves and their families. Particularly given the stringent SNAP work requirements, it is absurd to require people to work in order to receive food assistance and then doom working Americans to a life of poverty without a livable wage. We look forward to working with the Biden-Harris administration and Congress to take the long overdue action of raising the federal minimum wage, and to fix the systems that enable hunger to persist in this country.”

MAZON has long supported structural economic reform to address hunger in America, including policy solutions to address unique challenges of populations that are often overlooked or ignored, and broader reforms including raising the minimum wage. Last week, MAZON joined nearly 30 faith-based organizations in urging Congress to pass the Raise the Wage Act, noting that creating a livable wage is “essential to our communal recovery and recognizing the dignity of all workers around the country.”