As childhood hunger rises, a key food-stamp benefit is ending

Originally published on CBS News.

“Undernourished kids”

Dr. Megan Sandel said she used to see parents coming into her clinics who would run out of grocery money at the end of the month. Now, they’re running out of money in the second or third week as financial pressures mount due to the coronavirus pandemic.

That’s why Sandel, co-director of the Grow Clinic for Children at Boston Medical Center, said she is so concerned about the expiration of P-EBT. Even with these benefits, she’s seen a rise in hunger and malnutrition in the children who come to her clinics, which serve low-income households.

“Forty percent of families in our general clinics are reporting not getting enough to eat,” Sandel said in recent a conference call to discuss mounting food insecurity. “We added additional clinics this month at night because we are seeing so many undernourished kids.”

Even with the additional food aid, the number of households with children who say they sometimes or often don’t have enough to eat has jumped by 1.7 million since the pandemic, according to Census data.