Bloomberg reports that US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is signalling a push to increase food assistance for the poor beyond the coronavirus’s economic crisis.
The standard benefits may be too low and the way they’re calculated is outdated, Vilsack said. The Agriculture Department has already begun a review that could lead to more relief. During the pandemic, the maximum food-stamp benefit was raised by 15 per cent.
Vilsack presented a starkly different view of food assistance for the poor than the Trump administration, which sought to restrict eligibility for food aid through administrative actions that were later blocked by courts. Vilsack said authorities needed to do more to assure eligible people were enrolled.
“We all benefit when we have nutrition security and food security among all our people,” Vilsack said. Food assistance for needy families “is not welfare, it’s not something that you should feel badly about.”