Food Stamps on the Ballot: What Does This Election Mean for Those Facing Food Insecurity During the Pandemic?

As the U.S. faces a third wave of coronavirus cases and some cities and states prepare for another round of shutdowns, thousands of households are continuing to face economic hardship and food insecurity. Earlier this year, the Trump administration finalized a proposed rule change that would have blocked nearly 700,000 people from getting essential food assistance, one of three of the administration’s efforts to overhaul the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). 
The new rule would have affected the eligibility criteria for able-bodied adults with no dependents, limiting states’ ability to waive existing work mandates and requiring individuals to be employed to receive benefits. It was struck down last week by a federal judge after Pennsylvania and California residents sued Trump’s Agricultural Department. Critics say that this proposal is yet another attempt by the Trump administration to continue its deregulatory war on existing safety net programs, even as businesses struggle and the number of newly unemployed households remains high as a result of the pandemic. “The Final Rule at issue in this litigation radically and abruptly alters decades of regulatory practice, leaving States scrambling and exponentially increasing food insecurity for tens of thousands of Americans,” explained D.C Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell, in a 67-page opinion.

KIM | Big Red Hunger

With the semester coming to an end with four more weeks of school left, I took a peek at how many BRBs I had left. Opening the GET app has always been a moment of tension and anticipation. BRBs, despite being just regular money labeled in special Cornell jargon, represent my special Martha’s Cafe salad money, my midday hazelnut latte money and my Chobani mango yogurt money. BRBs are special and are my resource for funding my meals on a daily basis. With the lack of dining halls accepting meal swipes, the amount of BRBs I have determines the fate of my next meals.