The Delta Grassroots Caucus (DGC) is a broad coalition of grassroots leaders in the eight-state Delta region. DGC is also a founding partner of the Economic Equality Caucus,
which advocates for economic equality across the USA.

Delta Caucus Endorses President-Elect Biden's Plans for Economic Equality, Nutrition and Rural Development, in Contrast to Trump

Posted on November 17, 2020 at 11:28 AM

“Delta Caucus Endorses Biden Transition Team Plans to Fight Hunger and Poverty”

The Delta Caucus endorses President-Elect Biden’s plans to expand funding and access for job creation at good wages, SNAP, WIC, and other nutrition benefits, and a broad range of initiatives for economically distressed populations, in contrast to President Trump’s opposition to these programs.

“Biden’s bipartisan plan for fighting poverty and hunger provides a welcome contrast to President Trump’s radical departure from the traditional Republican support for SNAP, going back to President Nixon and Bob Dole’s staunch support of food stamps and the many Republicans in Congress today who still support SNAP and believe no American should go hungry.” Delta Caucus Director Lee Powell said.

The Delta Caucus wholeheartedly endorses the Biden plans for a 15% increase in SNAP benefits, support for the Pandemic EBT, rolling back of Trump administration efforts to obstruct people from gaining SNAP benefits, improving USDA Rural Development housing, infrastructure and small business programs.

Trump has proposed regulations that would terminate or sharply cut SNAP benefits to 4 million Americans, according to research from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

“The Delta Caucus commends President-Elect Biden’s appointment of Louisiana Congressman Cedric Richmond as Senor Advisor to the President and Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. Rep. Richmond has previously been a speaker at Delta Caucus events in Washington, DC, and it is great to have a leader from the heart of the Delta in such a high-level White House post,” Powell said.

Said Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America, a nationwide nonprofit group: “Hunger and poverty are serious problems in every state in the nation, but are particularly dire in Arkansas and the entire Mississippi Delta Region. That’s why we are so encouraged that the Biden/Harris Administration has pledged to place a serious focus on ensuring all Americans have access to affordable, nutritious food and that we boost economic opportunity for all.”

“President Trump has departed from the traditional Republican support for SNAP, going back to President Nixon and Bob Dole’s staunch support of food stamps and the many Republicans in Congress today who still support SNAP and believe no American should go hungry. We will soon have a President who will restore the bipartisan support for anti-hunger and poverty initiatives rather than the obstructionism that President Trump continues to spew,” Powell said.

Harvey Joe Sanner, president of American Ag Movement of Arkansas based in Des Arc, said “In the Arkansas Delta we look with great anticipation to the Biden administration’s constructive plans for job creation at good wages, support for lower to middle income populations in areas like ours that have too often lagged behind economically. The Biden-Harris plans to expand USDA nutrition and rural development programs, implement a broad range of initiatives to fight hunger and poverty are huge improvements over the government welfare for the wealthy under President Trump.”

Kathy Webb, Executive Director of the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, said “The AR Hunger Relief Alliance is concerned about the rapid rise in food insecurity in Arkansas since March, particularly among children. We look forward to working with the incoming administration on our priority issues, which include advocating for an increase in SNAP benefits, continuing P-EBT and USDA waivers for school meals and out of school programs, and removing barriers to access to federal nutrition programs. The Alliance is optimistic the Biden Harris administration will put into place policies and programs discussed during the campaign.”

The Delta Caucus endorses a range of initiatives supported by President-Elect Biden and Vice-President Elect Harris to combat the hunger, poverty and health crises our economically distressed region and the nation are now facing, with 43 million Americans now receiving SNAP–6 million more than in April 2020 when the pandemic hit. Census data indicates that four in 10 households struggle afford such basics as food and medical care.

–Increase SNAP benefits by 15%, support the Pandemic EBT program, and roll back Trump administration administrative rules that would have added layers of red tape to work requirements in trying to prevent people from obtaining SNAP benefits, which in addition to fighting hunger generate about $1.70 in economic activity for every $1 in SNAP spending;

–Supporting economic opportunity initiatives to create livable wage jobs such as Small Business, USDA Rural Development, Labor, and a reformed version of Opportunity Zones to make sure that lower income people benefit and attract investment to economically distressed areas;

–Strong unemployment benefits, relief and economic stimulus until the recession adds and we have a solid recovery; Support for Medicaid expansion, Obamacare, mask-wearing and social distancing to combat the pandemic as the main cause of the recession;

–Support the Biden transition team’s plan to aid small and medium-sized farmers, roll back Trump tariffs that encouraged retaliatory tariffs on farm exports, and implement then Sen. Harris’ plan announced earlier this year for a $100 billion rural economic recovery plan a SNAP for Kids Act that would raise food assistance for school-age children by $42 a month, expand funding for the Health Foods Financing Initiative that improves access to nutritious produce, especially in rural areas where grocery stores are in many cases sparse;

–Major infrastructure expansion program in transportation, housing, broadband and other infrastructure to create jobs and repair our deteriorating infrastructure.


Ben Burkett, an African American family farmer and owner of B and B Farms in Petal, Mississippi, said, We’re pleased by President-Elect Biden’s constructive positions for lower to middle income families, agriculture, infrastructure, rural broadband, and look forward to working with the new administration.”

Wilson Golden is a senior Delta Caucus adviser with multiple strong credentials: a Clinton administration Presidential appointee, board member of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation in Mississippi, Biden delegate to the Democratic Convention, and native Mississippian now living in an Appalachian county in Georgia, said “I am enthusiastic about President-Elect Biden’s leadership on poverty and hunger issues for economically struggling regions like my native Mississippi Delta and Appalachia, including aid for small and medium-sized farmers. Having been raised on a family farm in Mississippi, I applaud the transition team’s support for the Healthy Foods Financial Initiative that is especially helpful for providing access to nutritious produce in rural areas where grocery stores are often few and far between.”

“Many low to middle-income families across Louisiana and the entire Delta region have lost jobs, wages, health care, their small business, and the ability to feed themselves due to this pandemic. We feel hopeful in the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to the critical support and protection of families, racial equity, and the economic recovery of our communities.” said Millie Atkins, community leader based in Monroe, Louisiana and veteran Delta regional advocate.

Mayor Kevin Smith of Helena sounded an upbeat note about the upcoming administration, saying “I welcome a new opportunity to address our problems in the Delta on hunger and poverty as Biden and Harris set forth in their campaign, in addition to their longstanding records of concern for economic issues in rural America.”