Washington DC – Congress passed additional Nutrition Assistance Program food benefits for Puerto Rico as part of its $900 billion COVID stimulus plan.
“During the pandemic too many people in Puerto Rico suffered cuts to food benefits,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA. “The new food assistance in the stimulus bill impacts 1.5 million people on the island.”
Since the pandemic hit, Puerto Rico religious leaders, US national faith groups and Jubilee USA encouraged Congress to include Puerto Rico in stimulus package plans. Representing more than 95% of Puerto Rico’s population, island religious leaders wrote Congress to include Puerto Rico job creation, disaster relief and $1.2 billion in Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. The stimulus package increases food aid by $600 million. Jubilee USA coordinated meetings with Republican leadership and US religious groups and the Puerto Rico religious leaders during the final stimulus package negotiations.
“The increased food benefits for Puerto Rico are desperately needed. This stimulus funding is progress and Congress will need to do more,” shared LeCompte. "Before the pandemic, Puerto Rico wrestled with debt crisis, natural disasters and 60% of kids living in poverty."
Read the Jubilee Puerto Rico Religious Leader Letter to Congress here.