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HomeNewsRed State Governors Kick Against Biden’s Summer Grocery Program

Red State Governors Kick Against Biden’s Summer Grocery Program

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Red State Governors Kick Against Biden’s Summer Grocery Program
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The Biden administration is famous for throwing money at problems rather than fixing the root cause. In this case, they’re proving this fact right once again. The administration announced a ‘solution’ to inflation, which includes giving money per month to families with children. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in a news release it will be launching a permanent grocery benefit program for children in summer 2024. With this program, qualifying households will receive $40 per child each month to spend on groceries.

Since the release, 35 states have signed up for the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer thus far. Five territories and four Native American tribes also showed interest in the program. According to the USDA, the program will cover approximately 70% of the eligible children at launch and hopefully add more states in 2025. 

This program will benefit nearly 21 million children and their families. States will also provide families with $120/eligible child for the summer to buy food at grocery stores, farmers markets, or other authorized retailers. However, about 15 governors, majorly from red states, have rejected the program. 

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All this sounds like a great idea, so why are at least 15 states against it? The answer is quite simple. They believe they did not “need the funds or that they did not have the capabilities to run this program.”

According to The Hill, the 15 states that didn’t opt into the program include Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont and Wyoming. The governor of Iowa, Kim Reynolds, addressed her reservations about the program in a news release on December 22nd, 2023.

“Federal COVID-era cash benefit programs are not sustainable and don’t provide long-term solutions for the issues impacting children and families. An EBT card does nothing to promote nutrition at a time when childhood obesity has become an epidemic,” Reynolds said.

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She added that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Education “have well-established programs in place that leverage partnerships with community-based providers and schools who understand the needs of the families they serve.”

In addition, she believes that it would be better if the government fixed the root issue or invested in already existing programs rather than creating a new one.

“If the Biden Administration and Congress want to make a real commitment to family well-being, they should invest in already existing programs and infrastructure at the state level and give us the flexibility to tailor them to our state’s needs,” the governor said.

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Nebraska’s governor, Jim Pillen, also had a similar message in his December 29th press release. Therefore, it is easy to understand where these governors are coming from. The Biden administration needs to address the root cause which is inflation, rather than giving more money that enables the problem. 

Furthermore, an initiative like the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer already exists. So why do they need another one? The reality is they don’t. What they need is a good solution that helps everyone. 

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