To the Editor:

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is one of the best tools our nation has to combat the coronavirus crisis.

Prior to this pandemic, over 95,000 South Dakotans already struggled with hunger. With jobs and wages lost, this number continues to rise and families are shouldering much of the burden. In fact, new unemployment claims across the state have already surpassed 50,000.

SNAP is good at feeding people while also feeding South Dakota’s economy. The benefit is placed on an electronic card for families to buy food at grocery stores and farmers markets. When this money is spent it leads to more jobs, wages and local economic activity in the community. The best part? This happens almost immediately.

The vast majority of families spend their benefits before the month ends because SNAP only supplements food budgets. I urge Congress to increase SNAP benefits for families across the nation so we can help those in greatest need and give the country the economic stimulus it needs to weather this crisis.

Monica Gonzales

No Kid Hungry, Washington D.C.