On Sunday Jan. 16, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden volunteered at a food bank and placed carrots and apples into food boxes for the hungry as part of a day of service on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
The customary day of service is Monday, but due to a severe winter storm approaching the area, festivities were being delayed all around the region.
The couple drove about a half-hour from their home in Wilmington, Delaware, to Philabundance, a Philadelphia-based hunger-relief group that feeds roughly 140,000 people every week in Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. Biden said the child tax credit ought to be renewed before proceeding to the warehouse floor, where conveyor belts delivered cardboard boxes full of donated food.
Spices, fruits, vegetables, noodles, tea, and juice boxes, as well as peanut butter and chickpeas, were included in the food boxes.
While standing near a carton of macaroni and cheese, Biden spoke with volunteers, one of whom told the president that his daughter was a teacher. Before asking for the man’s daughter’s phone number and promising to call her, Biden emphasized the first lady’s teaching career.
They walked out to the warehouse floor as Angie Stone’s “Wish I Didn’t Miss You” played softly in the background, put on some gloves, and got to work. Jill wore a Philadelphia Eagles T-shirt under her jacket to honor the team’s playoff game versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday afternoon.
The monthly credits were part of Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, and the president had advocated extending them for another year as part of a separate economic and social program bill. Families used the extra money to buy food and other necessities.
“The child tax credit was really helpful. We’ve got to get it renewed,” Biden said.
However, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., objected to the credit being extended, claiming that the money would discourage people from working and that any further federal expenditure would feed inflation, which has already reached nearly 40-year high.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., indicated Tuesday that the Senate will take up voting rights legislation, missing a deadline he set for Monday, MLK Jr. Day. Biden emphasized the need of passing the bill, comparing present concerns about election tampering and increased voting restrictions in states to the civil rights struggles of the 1960s.
Following concerns from Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, Biden stated last week that he supported modifying Senate rules to allow the narrow Democratic majority to push the bill through, but he subsequently acknowledged that he doubted it would pass Congress this year.