Open letter to Gov. Ricketts re: Emergency SNAP
September 21, 2020
Governor Pete Ricketts
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 94848
Lincoln, NE 68509-4848
Dear Gov. Ricketts:
The Center for People in Need (CPN) strongly urges you to continue to request the federal funding to extend SNAP emergency benefits in Nebraska.
While life in Nebraska may be returning to normal for some people, it is not for those who remain unemployed or underemployed. Many families must continue to make tough choices about where to spend their limited money. And increasing grocery prices mean those dollars, and pre-pandemic SNAP allotments, don’t purchase as much as they did before. As a result, food distributions like ours are seeing record numbers in attendance.
In January and February, before the pandemic struck Lincoln, we distributed food to an average of 1,300 unduplicated families per month. Since the pandemic, we have added 1,600 new families to our rolls. In August, we helped more than 2,300 unique families who came to our weekly food distributions an average of two or three times during the month. Like every month since the pandemic began, our September numbers continue to climb.
Many of the families we serve have tapped out their savings, maxed their credit cards and been forced to pause rent or utility payments to make ends meet. They may be working, but their hours may still be reduced, grocery prices have increased, and now they’re drowning in new debt. They’re looking for help, and food banks and pantries are not designed to be their only source of assistance. The federal government is offering to extend emergency SNAP allotments – please, request funds for Nebraska and give our hard-working families every source of assistance possible.
Christine Funk, Executive Director
Center for People in Need