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Poverty, Hunger & Homelessness Expected To Rise If Unemployment & SNAP Benefits Aren't Expanded

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Shandana Qazi/S.F. Examiner
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Volunteers hand out food and other supplies at Mission Food Hub, which was set up in May to answer needs brought on by coronavirus.

  

On this edition of Your Call, we're discussing how the loss of additional unemployment benefits is impacting people who are struggling. Two months ago, House Democrats passed a bill to extend the extra $600 a week in federal benefits. Republicans want to reduce benefits to $200 a week.

Twenty-six million people can’t afford enough to eat, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Twenty-eight million people risk eviction, according to Princeton's Eviction Lab. The US poverty rate could rise to 11.9 percent over the next five months without expanded unemployment, a second round of stimulus checks and increased SNAP benefits, according to the Urban Institute.

Guests:

 

Teri Olle, California campaign director for the Economic Security Project

 

Melissa Cannon, senior advocate at California Food Policy Advocates

 

Sheila Ritter, a security guard and mom living in Denver, Colorado who lost her job in March and is struggling to make ends meet

 

Web Resources: 

USA Today, Jessica Menton: 'Insulin or groceries': How reduced unemployment affects struggling Americans from California to Mississippi

SF Examiner, Carly Graf: Pandemic exacerbates food insecurity for San Franciscans in need

Bloomberg CityLab, Alex Wittenberg: How U.S. Poverty Could Spike in the Last Half of the Year

Center on Budget and Policy: More Relief Needed to Alleviate Hardship