Gabriel Salguero on Children Are Suffering as Coronavirus Ravages Our Nation

FILE PHOTO: Egyptian clown Ahmed Naser, performs to entertain and help children to put on face masks as a preventive measure amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Darb Al-Ban district at Islamic Cairo, Egypt April 13, 2020. Picture taken April 13, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/File Photo

It is no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted vulnerable communities. As a Latino evangelical pastor who sees first-hand the deleterious effects of hunger in our communities, I am calling on Congress to act again on behalf of those who are particularly exposed to hunger, housing and economic hardships. So many members of my congregation are suffering. They’ve lost jobs and loved ones.  

In the early months of the pandemic, Congress responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with swift, strong, and bipartisan actions. But more needs to be done.

Rev. Gabriel Salguero, founder of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, speaks at the 2018 Council for Christian Colleges and Universities International Forum at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas on Jan. 31, 2018. | (Photo: The Christian Post / Samuel Smith)

Sickness, devastation and income inequality loom as this pandemic persists. Week after week I, like many of the pastors of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, have seen the church-run food distribution lines continue to grow and more and more families needing additional support. The unemployment and underemployment realities require an urgent response. As a nation, we can and must do better.

As a Christian, I believe God calls us to care for the “least among us.” COVID-19 is a hunger crisis. Congress ought to make nutrition part of its priorities in the next stimulus bill to assist those hit the hardest by this crisis here and abroad. Specifically, Congress should:  increase SNAP benefits by at least 15%, extend pandemic-EBT to ensure children have access to nutrition this summer and invest $20 billion for the global response to COVID-19. Each of these will go a long way in helping the most vulnerable in our communities.

By acting on these legislative priorities, Congress can help struggling people access the food they need to lead healthy and fulfilling lives, including immigrant families, many of which have U.S. children.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Gabriel Salguero