October 03, 2021
BRUNSWICK, ME – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) today released the latest edition of his “Inside Maine” podcast, which features a timely discussion on efforts to address hunger in communities throughout Maine and across the country with two prominent and knowledgeable voices: Kristen Miale, President of Good Shepherd Food Bank, and Senator Bob Casey (D-Penn.), one of Congress’ leading voices on the efforts to fight food insecurity. During the conversation, Senator King and his guests outlined how the COVID-19 pandemic shifted the fight against hunger in Maine, and how the American Rescue Plan, improvements to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and how the launch of Maine’s free school meal program will make a massive positive impact for families across the state.
“The COVID-19 pandemic raised the stakes of our fight against food insecurity, as economic uncertainty and miles-long lines at food pantries across the country stretched our capacities to their limits,” said Senator King. “But in the face of this challenge was an opportunity to make progress – an opportunity we seized by instituting anti-hunger programs such Maine’s new free school meal policy and increasing SNAP benefits in the American Rescue Plan. These efforts, combined with the continued and tireless efforts of the anti-hunger organizations working within our communities, have made a major difference during this pandemic and laid out a roadmap for future efforts. I’m grateful to Senator Casey and Kristen Miale for joining me today, and for all they do to ensure that every single American has access to healthy meals.”
The American Rescue Plan provided $1.135 billion for state administrative costs to help states accommodate the increased demand for SNAP; allowed states to continue the Pandemic-EBT program, which provides families grocery benefits to replace meals that children miss when schools are closed; invested in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to modernize the program; and extended a 15 % SNAP increase – meaning more than a $100 per month in additional food assistance for a Maine family of four.
During his time in the Senate, Senator King has worked to reduce rates of food insecurity in Maine and across the country. He recently cosponsored the Summer Meals Act, which would expand eligibility and participation for summer meal programs, the Caregivers Access and Responsible Expansion (CARE) for Kids Act of 2021, that would expand free school meal eligibility for the many children who currently live with grandparents or other caregivers, and the WIC Act, to expand eligibility for children to receive benefits under the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.
The “Inside Maine Podcast with Senator Angus King” is a 30-minute program that aims to help keep Maine people informed about issues of the day, how they affect life in the state, and how they factor into Senator King’s work as one of two independents in the U.S. Senate. Senator King’s podcast builds on his existing radio show that airs on Newsradio WGAN in Portland, Maine between 10 and 11 a.m. on almost every last Saturday of the month – with today an exception to the normal cadence. The link to the September podcast can be found HERE.