*** For Immediate Release ***

Utah’s Leaders Rejected Millions in Aid Money for Hungry Children During Pandemic

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.”

CONTACT: Ermina Mustafic
PHONE: 385-229-7448
EMAIL: ermina@petersonforutah.com
WEBSITE: PetersonforUtah.com

About Peterson for Utah

Chris Peterson is a fifth generation Utahn with deep pioneer roots who has spent his career fighting for working families. A professor of business law at the University of Utah and recognized authority on consumer protection, he has worked tirelessly to help industry to improve the lives of their employees and customers.

Lt. Gov. candidate Karina Brown is President of the Cache County Friends of the Children’s Justice Center Board and was a founding sponsor of the Medicaid Expansion ballot initiative (Proposition 3) adopted by Utah voters in 2018. She also serves on the Cache Valley Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is Co-Chair of the Cache Chamber Legislative Affairs Committee.

Democrats advanced Chris Peterson for Utah with 88.4% of votes during the Democratic Primary Convention in April.