The economic impact of COVID-19 has been astronomical. Millions of low-wage workers are out of work, can’t pay the rent, utility bills or put food on the table. Without help, many Americans could quickly face hunger, eviction, and even homelessness.
We are thankful Congress has passed emergency legislation, but more action is still needed. In the next response bill, Congress must prioritize housing and hunger by providing no less than $100 billion for emergency rental assistance, implementing a national moratorium on evictions, and increasing the maximum SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) benefit by 15%.
As students at the University of Kansas, we have seen perspectives of many of our peers struggling to pay for necessities, which includes rent, food and utilities. According to a 2016 study, 54% of KU students identified as “Food Insecure.” Many of these food-insecure students are being heavily impacted because many can’t receive the stimulus check or apply for unemployment during this time.
We urge Sens. Roberts and Moran, and Reps. Marshall, Estes, Watkins and Davids to promptly consider and pass measures to help struggling workers and families secure stable housing and keep their families fed during this economic crisis and beyond.
Taelyr Blehm, Russell, and Mercedeh Tavacoli, Lawrence