“Our nation faces a long road to recovery from the impacts of COVID-19. However, FoodCorps is thrilled to see a path forward through the transformational investment in families, schools, and communities included in the American Rescue Plan that was signed by President Joe Biden today. We are especially pleased to spotlight the $1 billion in critical support to national service programs. It is particularly resonant that this victory comes during AmeriCorps Week, an annual celebration of national service.
National service has always played a role in our nation’s response to times of crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic proved no different. In its wake, service members in every state pivoted their focus to address food access, distance learning, and the most urgent needs of their communities, a shift that continues one year into the pandemic. FoodCorps is a proud member of Voices for National Service, the coalition that led the advocacy work to ensure national service got the critical resources it needs to embark on the next phase of its contributions to COVID-19 relief.
We thank Voices and our partners for their hard work, and commend the Biden administration’s and Congress’s significant investment in national service. These actions will help provide the necessary resources to strengthen national service programs like FoodCorps; support service members by increasing living allowances; and create more national service positions to aid in the nation’s recovery. For too long, the low stipends available in many AmeriCorps positions have been a barrier to those who want to serve, but who don’t have access to the independent financial resources to do so. This support for stipends will allow people living in the communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 to support recovery through service.
In addition to the monumental support for national service, we thank President Biden and Congress for continuing to prioritize food policies that lift up underserved households and communities. Extended boosts in SNAP and Pandemic EBT benefits will address rising food insecurity and provide a much-needed resource to low-income families. We also applaud the $4 billion in direct debt relief to Black farmers, a move that will help preserve and protect Black farmers’ lands, ensure greater food sovereignty for Black farmers and families, and begin to address decades of discrimination by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. We are also excited to see funding for schools and income support for families with children.
FoodCorps looks forward to continuing to work with the Biden Administration and Congress on supporting the needs of our nation’s students and their communities.”
—Curt Ellis, FoodCorps Co-founder and CEO