Democrat Stacey Abrams teamed up with former 2020 Democrat presidential candidate Andrew Yang on Tuesday to promote a program that would provide $1,000 in direct cash payments to each of 100,000 families receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
The campaign comes at a time when shutdown measures to combat the coronavirus put millions of Americans out of work and closed down schools.
“The most economically vulnerable are struggling to survive, unable to afford groceries or medicines for their children, let alone cover utilities, car payments, and rent,” Abrams told CNN.
Yang called the program a “vital supplement” to those in need.
“You know, the government’s doing everything it can to help — that’s not actually not right, it should be doing more,” Yang, a CNN contributor, said in an interview Monday.
Several celebrities, including Stephen Colbert, Ariana Grande, and Rihanna, have endorsed the campaign.
The announcement comes after a pilot program by GiveDirectly and Propel gave cash payments to 4,500 families in 21 states. GiveDirectly has more than a decade of experience providing cash transfers to those in sub-Saharan Africa, and Propel had been working on benefit delivery to U.S. food stamp recipients, Vox reported.
Both companies teamed up to give these families one-time payments of $1,000.