Saturday, October 16, 2021


Community college students in California are encouraged to examine their options; plus a Boeing 737 Max test pilot was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on charges of deceiving safety regulators.


Environmentalists have high hopes for President Biden at an upcoming climate summit, a bipartisan panel cautions against court packing, and a Trump ally is held in contempt of Congress for ignoring a subpoena.


A rebuttal is leveled over a broad-brush rural-schools story; Black residents in Alabama's Uniontown worry a promised wastewater fix may fizzle; cattle ranchers rally for fairness; and the worms are running in Banner Elk, North Carolina.

Advocates: Ending Hunger in Utah, U.S. Should be Biden’s Top Priority


Tuesday, February 2, 2021   

SALT LAKE CITY -- In his first week in office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order extending a temporary increase in SNAP benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The measure's 15% boost in nutrition assistance aims to help hard-hit Utah families deal with food insecurity and hunger.

The order also directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to address inadequacies in SNAP, or food stamp, benefits, and instructs states to increase emergency SNAP allotments for households experiencing financial struggles.

Gina Cornia, executive director for Utahns Against Hunger, said Biden's order sends a clear message that ending hunger in Utah and in America must be a top priority.

"Utah distributed that first increase last week," Cornia observed. "Now the families will get an additional 15%. But in Utah, 31% of households already get the maximum benefit and they aren't getting any additional money."

Biden's American Relief Plan includes $1 trillion in assistance to families, including stimulus payments, food assistance and higher jobless benefits.

An alternative bill, touted by the GOP as a bipartisan compromise, offers reduced stimulus payments, less food assistance and decreased unemployment benefits.

Cornia noted Biden's order also extends the Pandemic-EBT Benefit, a lifeline for families to help feed their children who normally get reduced-price or free meals at schools that now are closed.

She added those payments are especially important in smaller communities.

"In a rural community, 75% of the respondents said that they're worried about having enough food," Corina confirmed. "In the urban communities, it is only 34%."

Cornia believes Utah families probably will need food assistance for an extended period until the pandemic subsides.

"It's going to take through this summer for most people to get a vaccine before we may be returned to normal," Cornia predicted.

Sen. Luz Escamilla, D-Salt Lake City, has introduced Senate Bill 141 to form a Task Force on Food Insecurity to develop a statewide plan to assist families facing hunger. The measure is pending before a Senate committee.

Disclosure: Utahans Against Hunger contributes to our fund for reporting on Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Livable Wages/Working Families, Poverty Issues, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
As of 2021, medical aid in dying is an option for terminally ill adults in 10 states and Washington, D.C. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

ALBANY, N.Y. -- A new survey shows most New Yorkers approve of medical aid-in-dying legislation, and advocates for end-of-life autonomy said it is …

Social Issues

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohioans across religious traditions have come together as one voice this week to speak out against capital punishment. Dozens of …

Social Issues

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Community college students in California are being encouraged to take a closer look at their education plans, to see if …

There are an estimated 42,000 farms in Arkansas, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (Adobe Stock)


SPRINGDALE, Ark. -- New efforts are underway to help small-scale farms in Arkansas expand their business. The Food Conservancy, a northwest Arkansas …

Social Issues

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A high percentage of rejected voter registrations in three of Ohio's biggest counties is raising some red flags. According to the …

Virginia's statewide election is Tues., Nov. 2, and polls are open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (Adobe stock)

Social Issues

CORRECTION: The last day to request absentee ballots in Virginia is Fri., Oct. 22. An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Oct…

Social Issues

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A special court panel is hosting public hearings this month, asking Minnesotans what new political maps should look like, and …

Social Issues

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas has some of the weakest gun laws in America, and gun-control advocates say the permissive attitude may be why a student …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021