The food program established by the US Congress to support families with children in school during the coronavirus pandemic, it has only reached 15% of its potential beneficiaries.
According to an investigation by The New York Times, as of May 15, only 4.4 million in 12 of the 50 states had accessed the aid due to the administrative difficulty of distributing it. Only Michigan and Rhode Island have completed the payments.
Sixteen states still do not have approval to distribute the funds and Utah has declared itself administratively unable to participate in the program.
The program was approved in March with a maximum budget of 10 billion dollars with the aim of compensating the families of some 30 million minors who usually fed with subsidies in schools, now closed.
According to the Times, about half of school children qualify for the subsidies, aimed at families who earn less than $ 48,000 a year, a percentage that skyrockets in states like Louisiana (78%) and West Virginia (85%).
The program provides a minimum of $ 5.70 per child per day without school, an amount that families receive through special cards to buy food.
The US Census Bureau It published last week that 31% of households lack enough food or quality food because “they cannot buy more.”
“The hunger data is horrible and this was a quick way to help all kinds of families,” Michigan Health Director – one of only two states that has completed payments – Robert Gordon told the Times.
The economic earthquake caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has caused more than 38 million people to apply for unemployment benefits in recent weeks.
The unemployment rate in April shot up to 14.7%, a figure that according to projections will approach 20% at the end of the second quarter of the year.
In addition to economics, the US It has been the country hardest hit by the pandemic, with at least 98,913 deaths and more than 1,680,000 confirmed cases.