In January, several members of Congress reintroduced the bipartisan, bicameral FEED (FEMA Empowering Essential Deliveries) Act in partnership with Chef José Andrés and World Central Kitchen that would allow the federal government to pay 100% of the costs for states and localities to partner with restaurants to feed Americans in need.
On Feb. 2, President Joe Biden signed an executive order doing just that: directing the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, to cover 100% of the costs needed to help restaurants partner with local soup kitchens and food pantries, instead of the typical 75%.
By announcing the executive order, Biden bypassed the legislative process the FEED Act needed for approval.
The original FEED Act called for states to partner with small and mid-sized restaurants to help feed the needy through federal resources like SNAP and school meals and local nonprofits. In return, restaurants would be able to use the funding to keep their doors open, keep their employees on staff and stave off some of the harshest economic effects of the pandemic.
Following the signing of Biden’s executive order, state and local governments will be able to immediately take advantage of the FEMA funds.
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