The aid project to mitigate the economic impact caused by COVID-19, promoted by the president of the federal House, Nancy Pelosi, must pass through the approval of the Senate. (Teresa Canino Rivera)
The Coalition for Food Safety, the Association for Retail Trade (ACDET) and the Chamber of Marketing, Industry and Food Distribution (MIDA) showed their support for the Chamber President, Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Caucus of the House by including the critical provisions to address food security in Puerto Rico in the new version of the bill called Heroes (“Heroes Act”), a comprehensive economic stimulus bill for the recovery of COVID-19) and urged that the Senate consider the approval immediate of the legislative piece.
The new version of the Heroes Bill provides an allocation of $ 1,236 billion in additional funds for nutritional assistance and a supplemental increase of 15% to the maximum benefit of the Nutritional Assistance Program (NAP) for Puerto Rico, in the fiscal year 2021. In addition, the recent piece of legislation gives Puerto Rico access to the PANDEMIC-EBT, a special nutrition fund for families with school-age children who study from home during the crisis.
“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Puerto Rico has no comparison with the states of the Union, since we are still recovering from the effects of hurricanes Irma and María and this year's earthquakes. Chamber President Pelosi and the Democratic leadership of the House are helping to combat food insecurity on the Island, which affects many of our families, children and the elderly; by providing these much needed funds, ”said Eduardo Marxuach, spokesman for the Coalition for Food Security. “We are hopeful that the Senate will act and pass this bill and that President Trump will quickly sign it into law.”
“Puerto Rico faces increasing levels of poverty and serious inequalities in the nutritional assistance funds received. More than 1.5 million participants receive nutritional assistance and more and more families and the elderly are struggling to survive day by day. The Heroes Bill will bring nutritional benefits to them on an equal footing with other American citizens residing in the states. We need to combat food insecurity by increasing funds for Puerto Rico and certainly this bill is a great step in that direction, “said Iván Báez, president of ACDET.
For his part, MIDA vice president, Manuel Reyes, added that “the social and economic well-being of Puerto Rico and the United States are closely related to each other. The dietary needs of Puerto Ricans have been well documented for years. Congresswoman Pelosi and the Democratic leadership are taking the right and much-needed steps to address these needs, benefiting both the citizens of the states and the nation. We urge the Senate to fully endorse the measure and pass it. “