Washington DC, Pedro Pierlusi’s administration has pressed Congress this week to integrate Puerto Rico into the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which would allow it to receive hundreds of millions of additional dollars in food aid.
The Secretary of the Family, Carmen González Magaz, and the Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA), Carmen Feliciano, held meetings with officials from the Senate Agriculture Committees and the House of Representatives.
The pressure is directed so that Puerto Rico can make a transition in 2023, when agricultural legislation will be reauthorized from the Nutrition Assistance Program (PAN) to SNAP.
“We are committed to ensuring that low-income families in Puerto Rico receive the same nutritional support as their counterparts in the states and other territories. We work closely with the United States Department of Agriculture Food Nutrition Service, Congress, and PRFAA We are working to achieve a smooth transition to SNAP,” said Secretary of State González Magaz.
Feliciano, for his part, insisted that “Puerto Rico Receives Nearly 25% Less Nutritional Benefit” Compared to states and other territories, and recalled that President Joe Biden, in his budget for the 2023 federal fiscal year, once again supported Puerto Rico achieving equality in nutrition assistance.
In recent weeks, Governor Pierluci, the resident commissioner in Washington, Jennifer Gonzalez and members of Congress – including Puerto Ricans Nidia Velázquez, Darren Soto and Richie Torres – have asked Congressional leadership to provide an additional $1,000 million in funding to the island. . , on top of the block grants that Puerto Rico will receive, which could reach this federal fiscal year, with additional funding approved in 2021, close to $2.5 billion.
“As Americans, Puerto Ricans deserve immediate and equitable funding and should not be subject to reduced benefits based solely on residency. With food insecurity increasing and a lack of equity in funding, we must find Americans living on the island. must act now to avoid a deluge of benefits,” he stressed in a letter addressed to Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Since the start of the pandemic and as of last January, the number of PAN beneficiaries in Puerto Rico increased by 247,000 people.