As families count until the holidays, many also anxiously watch a different clock – one that is ticking for Congress to take meaningful action to address hunger and poverty in communities here in Arizona and across Canada. country.
Unless Congress takes action before the end of the year, families will receive their last monthly check this month from the Enhanced Child Tax Credit, one of the Build Back Better Act programs currently in the works. study in the Senate.
This benefit has been a lifeline for families, helping them pay for necessities like food, rent, diapers and utilities, and preventing millions of children from sliding into poverty.
If Congress does not extend the improved child tax credit, 27 million children nationwide will lose this full benefit, including 690,000 in Arizona whose families previously ineligible because their incomes are too low. .
But there are other things at stake if Congress does not pass the Build Back Better Act.
This bill is a unique opportunity to help end child hunger.
He could make school meals available to millions more children – more than 390,000 in Arizona alone – by expanding a program called Community Eligibility Provision.
And, giant strides should be made to fight summer hunger by making the Summer EBT program available in all 50 states, reaching more than 620,000 children in Arizona.
An opportunity to do so much for so many children is very rare.
With 1 in 5 children in Arizona facing hunger today, Senators Sinema and Kelly must act now and pass the Build Back Better Act.
(Erica Olmstead represents No Kid Hungry Arizona while Angie Rogers is with the Arizona Food Bank Network.)