Peterson Campaign Announces Petition Calling on Governor to Accept Funds
May 27, 2020 — Salt Lake City, Utah Democratic Candidate for Utah Governor Chris Peterson is condemning Gov. Gary Herbert and Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox for refusing money to help hungry children in Utah during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Pandemic-EBT program provided more than a billion dollars in grants for states to provide prepaid food benefit cards to hungry families to buy food from grocery stores for their children. Similar to the SNAP program, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act passed by Congress in March, was meant to replace school lunches that provide critical nutrition for millions of at- risk kids while schools close.
Herbert and Cox decided to forgo the Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) program, making Utah the only state in the union taking steps to reject roughly $50 million for Utah children who would typically receive school meals, according to the New York Times.
Peterson called for state leaders to immediately apply for the Pandemic-EBT benefits early Wednesday. The campaign also launched a petition to demand that Gov. Herbert and Lt. Gov. Cox immediately apply for and administer the Pandemic-EBT program so Utah parents can feed hungry children. Click here to view and sign the petition.
“The same leaders that tried to increase taxes on food last year have decided accepting $50 million in food benefits for hungry kids was too complicated,” Peterson said. “While other states are stepping up to distribute these funds, in Utah our state leaders are turning their backs on funding to feed kids during a time of extraordinary economic hardship.”
The number of hungry children is skyrocketing across America. Nearly one in five households of mothers with children younger than 12 report having kids who are experiencing food insecurity.
“This type of emergency funding is one of the most effective ways to spark a weak economy because this money would be injected directly into local businesses,” Peterson said. “The Governor should reverse course on this decision immediately.”