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Amanda Renteria

“What we’ve seen across the country now, those states or programs that were good at digital readiness had clean data so they knew where to find people. They had good communication systems in real time, so that they could offer help and guidance to folks who are looking for it. All of that infrastructure really mattered, and it was really hard to fill those gaps in real time during a crisis that was affecting every industry.

“I think the other thing we’ve learned over the full period of this pandemic is that the will to change has been quite incredible. Yes, there were all these things we learned about how difficult it was, but the will to all of a sudden change policy in a way that we’ve never believed. We could change interviews, which was the biggest obstacle for people getting food stamps. In short order, the interviews were removed.

“As we look back on it, some policy changes we didn’t think were possible are now because we’ve shaken up things.”

Amanda Renteria is the chief executive officer of Code for America.

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