Recent News

June 15, 2020

United Ways Urge Coronavirus Relief in Different Forms

Public Policy

United Way of Greater Cincinnati’s donors and supporters joined United Ways across the country in asking Congress for relief – from strengthening the nation’s hunger program to supporting the 211-referral system – to help million of Americans struggling with pandemic fallout. 

One policy success was urging Congress to strengthen the nation’s largest anti-hunger program. Millions of Americans, including many frontline, low-income workers, depend on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to make ends meet – a challenge that has grown during the economic crisis. 

Congress agreed to allow families to collect the maximum SNAP benefit during the national health emergency. United Way of Greater Cincinnati continues to recommend policymakers increase the SNAP maximum allotment by 15 percent until economic measures show that unemployment is no longer significantly elevated. That would amount to about $25 more per person per month, or just under $100 per month in food assistance for a family of four. 

One major success was urging Congress to strengthen the nation’s largest anti-hunger program. Millions of Americans, including many frontline low-income workers, depend on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to make ends meet – a challenge that has grown during the economic crisis. 

Congress agreed to initial increases in the program and United Way of Greater Cincinnati continues to recommend policymakers increase the SNAP maximum allotment by 15 percent until economic measures show that unemployment is no longer significantly elevated. That would amount to about $25 more per person per month, or just under $100 per month in food assistance for a family of four.  

SNAP benefits are one of the fastest, most effective forms of economic stimulus because they quickly inject money into the economy. Low-income families generally spend all of their income to meet daily needs such as shelter, food and transportation. Eighty percent of SNAP benefits are redeemed within two weeks of receipt. Thanks to everyone for tweeting and supporting #SNAP. 

United Ways across the country also urged Congress to include $150 million in emergency funding to 211 in coronavirus relief legislation. 211 connects people to programs and services that help in finding food, paying housing bills, getting help with mental health needs and locating other essential services. 211s across the country have been on the frontline of the coronavirus response, seeing increases of up to 400% in their requests for assistance from families in crisis.

We are asking Congress to prioritize support for 211 in the next COVID-19 relief bill to help 211 call centers connect people to the vital health and economic services they need. 211 is more than a helpline -- it's a lifeline! If you and/or someone you know needs assistance, call 211 or visit www.211.org now. #211. 

Join United Way in thanking Congress. Ask for continued support for coronavirus relief for those who need it most by standing up for vital services such as 211, the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit expansion, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, SNAP and more. Send an e-mail now https://www.unitedway.org/get-involved/take-action/call-senate-now-coronavirus